MATSITI Research Associate and IndigenousX host Dr Kaye Price has recently written an article for The Guardian (Australia edition) which outlines her commitment to developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content for curriculum.
As Dr Price says, “the fire was ignited” in the early 1980s when she was consulted on the content of the Aboriginal Studies Kit of the Monaro Region.
To my horror, I found that it included statements like “Dreaming Stories are just like fairy stories”.
Since those early days Dr Price has developed content for primary, secondary and university contexts. She believes that the university space has been the most challenging and, in particular, found that –
Many initial teacher education (ITE) students have grown up with a school curriculum that either omits the nation’s history, or paints Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in negative stereotypes. We desperately need authentic, accurate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content within our nation’s universities if we want to mature as a nation, and we desperately need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers within our classrooms.
While working with the More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teacher Initiative (MATSITI), a group from La Trobe University, the University of Southern Queensland, Australian Council of Deans of Education and the University of South Australia submitted a tender that would develop a prototype for embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content within ITE.
This spawned the 3Rs website – not reading, writing, ‘rithmetic, but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content that promotes respect, relationships and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.