What is the importance of Aboriginal education for students?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is important for students to learn about Aboriginal and other Indigenous cultures and histories to foster inclusion, to present a balanced view of history, and to help children recognize themselves as a valuable part of society.

150 different Australian Indigenous languages are spoken in Australian homes, which reflects the...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

It is important for students to learn about Aboriginal and other Indigenous cultures and histories to foster inclusion, to present a balanced view of history, and to help children recognize themselves as a valuable part of society.

150 different Australian Indigenous languages are spoken in Australian homes, which reflects the great diversity of cultures within that country. Aboriginal cultures embrace songs, stories, art, and even burial practices that are specific to particular Aboriginal tribes. Instead of embracing and appreciating this diversity, research shows that seventy-five percent of Australians hold a negative bias, whether implicit or unconscious, toward Indigenous people. These biases create divisions within society, and educating children to appreciate various forms of Indigenous culture helps bridge these divisions.

It wasn't until 2011 that Australian teachers began teaching Aboriginal history in earnest. The absence of this history from the curriculum therefore presented a one-sided portrait of Australia's successes and challenges. Including Aboriginal history as part of Australia's history helps children "deconstruct the stereotypes about Australia's history before the British settlement."

It's also important for students with Aboriginal ancestry to have an opportunity to see themselves as an integral and celebrated part of Australia's story. Using ideas that are central to Aboriginal culture also benefits society as a whole. Consider the following values that are common in Indigenous cultures:

  • The land and nature are great teachers.
  • Elders have incredible wisdom.
  • Collaboration can lead to insightful learning experiences.

Respecting Aboriginal values can help increase the success of students who are growing up in these cultures and can also benefit their larger communities.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on