And I’ll leave it there.
So who thinks they can clearly identify one argument that was being presented in that book about fires? I’m Alanna Murphy, I’m the Year 4/5 teacher at Sturt Street Community School in the Adelaide CBD.
fires aren’t very dangerous.
In my classroom, there’s around 13 different cultural backgrounds.
Middle East, Europe, Asia.
So there’s two different sides to using fire and we’re actually going to – in a minute – be reading quite a difficult newspaper article from ‘The Australian’.
This morning, they’re learning about Aboriginal culture through literacy.
This is a difficult piece of writing.
based around using fire as a technology to manipulate the environment.
firestick farming already.
I like to share with my children celebrating the successful stories that Aboriginal people have and also showing you can base some really academically rigorous learning around Aboriginal cultural studies.
What is one of the main reasons this article tells us that Aboriginal people used fire management to burn off country? It made something easier for them.
Getting in and out? Yeah.
Getting in and out.
Sophie? It’s controlled farming, then it’s grass, then it’s kangaroo, then it’s human, then it goes again.
Yeah, that’s very good.
They showed that they were actually using a cycle of practices.
I’m just making articles, Aboriginal perspectives, quality resources by Indigenous people, a natural part of my classroom and a natural part of my teaching.
to use fire, to manage fire.
Why do you think some plant species in Australia might dominate? -It helps the plants sprout.
And then the ashes help them grow.
And what scientists are saying now is the fact that there’s eucalyptus plants everywhere may be due to all of the fire management that was done by Aboriginal people for thousands and thousands of years.
I was lucky enough to go out and work at Mimili, on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands for two years.
I’m demonstrating to them that I value it enough to use it as a teaching tool.
I could look at scientists that have proved that firestick farming was used.
My colleague, Nicole, and I are talking about where we’re at with what we’re doing at the moment and some of the interests that the students have.
What’s happening and what they’re learning about.
I often just go online.
I found ‘The Australian’ article searching online myself.
I’ve also used the Aboriginal Languages and Multicultural Resource Centre.
I think we could maybe think about doing a topic around the seasons because, again, there’s lots of really, really good resources.
If we can’t access local Aboriginal people or Aboriginal cultural instructors to come in and work with the children, there’s heaps of stuff on the National Film and Sound Archive website.
When I first started working here at Sturt Street, seven schools were going to be teaching units of work on Aboriginal cultural studies and sharing with each other.
That has come together as the Aboriginal Cultural Studies Moodle.
Last year, Nicole joined me looking at creating focus questions for nearly every year level under every topic and linking it to the Australian Curriculum.
Let’s, next term, aim for you to do the season stuff with your kids and I’ll follow in the same content area.
And it will give you resources, activities, ideas for units of work.
NICOLE: For the relevant year levels.
That’s a good idea.
Let’s just organise, maybe, towards week 7 or 8, to have some sessions where we cross over.
Your kids can teach mine about what you’ve been doing and mine can do the same for yours.
I have paraded it to all the staff at school and tried to get them involved with it as well so.
I believe in it.
I think it’s a really, really good resource.
Especially for teachers who are not confident or don’t have a background in teaching Aboriginal cultural studies.
When we came, the white people came, they didn’t know that you needed to get a fire to stop the forest from growing.
So they didn’t.
It was saying the European people, when they came here, didn’t actually realise that the local Aboriginal people were doing really well-practised land management processes.
-One of which was?-Firestick farming.
It’s diverse – you can teach almost any of the major learning areas through Aboriginal cultural studies.