The Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities program has seen positive engagement with the schools, teachers and communities in using traditional ecological knowledge and western science to deliver Two-way Science programs.

Outcomes

The case study evaluation of Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities found that the program:

  • established strong, effective partnerships with schools and other stakeholders
  • increased student and community engagement in education
  • increased educator confidence and capacity to plan and undertake Two-way Science using on Country contexts
  • and improved school capacity to embed Aboriginal ecological knowledge into the Australian Curriculum.

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Narrator: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are the world’s oldest scientists and continue to practice and share knowledge today.

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The Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities Programme, part of the Indigenous STEM Education Project

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delivered by CSIRO and funded by the BHP Foundation, works with the remote schools and communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory to develop Two-way science learning programmes that connect Indigenous knowledge with the Australian school curriculum.

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Two-way science activities start On Country where Aboriginal people, including Elders, share knowledge of country, culture, and language with students.

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The learning On Country is connected to an integrated learning programme in the classroom.

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In 2018 and 2019 an Evaluation Case Study involving three remote communities and schools found the programme had made a considerable impact on student and community engagement in education.

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Teachers had gained confidence in their ability to teach science. They also increased their understanding of the benefits of a Two-way science learning approach that placed On Country learning and Aboriginal knowledges at its centre.

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For students, the evaluation showed that attendance increased during Two-way science learning activities, as well as understanding across a number of learning areas.

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The programme also helped spark new aspirations and increase self-confidence.

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The programme was also found to have strengthened connections among the schools, parents, teachers, Elders, students, and other groups such as Indigenous Rangers.

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The Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities Programme confirms the strengths and wisdom or people in remote communities and the importance of utilising the energies of the entire community to benefit young people. Learn more about the evaluation findings of this project at csiro.au/indigenous-education.

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Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities :  Part of the Indigenous STEM Education Project delivered by CSIRO and funded by the BHP Foundation, Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities works with remote schools and communities to develop integrated Two-way Science learning programs that connect Indigenous ecological knowledges with the Australian Curriculum.

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