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Australian curriculum: Science, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross-curriculum priority

Content elaborations and teacher background information for Years 7-10
Indigenous knowledge Intercultural learning School curriculum STEM education Secondary education Australia

This document showcases the 95 new content elaborations for the Australian Curriculum: Science (Foundation to Year 10) that address the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority. It also provides the accompanying teacher background information for each of the elaborations from Years 7 -10 to support secondary teachers in planning and teaching the science curriculum.

Key findings:

  • Students can review anthropological misinformation regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in historical scientific publications. Common theories students may encounter, now invalidated, are polygenism, eugenism and scientific Darwinism.
  • Investigation into how disease outbreaks and the emergence of drug-resistant infections have focused scientific research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ traditional medicines to identify effective therapeutic compounds for the use in pharmaceuticals.
  • Considering how ecological sciences are recognising the efficacy of traditional ecological practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and how restorative programs based on these practices are generating new career opportunities.

This elaboration allows students the opportunity to explore a range of separation techniques developed and utilised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia for a variety of purposes. Students have opportunities to investigate the scientific principles underlying these techniques, and explore examples of specific separation methods developed by First Nations’ Australians that enable the procurement and processing of resources necessary for everyday life and for survival in times of food and water shortages.

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