Join the Indigenous Science Network
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 1, 12 February 2021, page no.16
Educators can struggle to include Indigenous perspectives in their teaching. This can be particularly challenging with empirical subjects like maths and science, where attempts to reference culture can be met with unease or even fear.
That’s where the Indigenous Science Network comes in. Its aims are to:
- promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander science, teaching and education
- target classroom teachers and university lecturers who would like to improve their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous science and how to access and use it in their teaching.
From 1998 to 2017, the Indigenous Science Network Bulletin was distributed via email to academics and educators all over the globe. Originating from a meeting of science teachers and Indigenous community members in Darwin, it was based on the belief that Indigenous cultures should form an integral part of the science curriculum. The network grew to regularly cover such topics as Indigenous astronomy, environment, sustainability, maths, technology, curriculum and anything related to the interests and passions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander science educators and supporters.
Last year, Mark Linkson, a former QTU member and TAFE Council Rep, sought to renew and reinvigorate the network. Mark has written Indigenous science curriculum support materials in the NT and worked as the Science Educator Advisor in the Torres Straits before joining RATEP at Cairns TAFE to deliver teacher education to Indigenous communities across Queensland.
He explains: “I well remember 20 years ago at a national science research conference in Townsville, as a university lecturer outlined his opposition to including any reference to culture in science teaching! He was sensing the winds of change and didn’t like it!
“In 2021 we recognise and value First Nations peoples’ knowledge and understandings of the world and how it works. We acknowledge that Indigenous maths* and science are real concepts and result organically from the lived experiences and wisdom passed-down through untold generations of Indigenous peoples successfully thriving in every environment on the planet.”
You can get a taste of the network on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousScie1) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IndigenousScie1). If you would like to join and receive the quarterly bulletin, send an email request via IndigenousSciNet@yahoo.com
*For more on Indigenous maths, try ATSIMA at https://atsimanational.ning.com/