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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

 

Indigenous Studies through Technology: A Rich Task in Teacher Education

Jennifer Munday.


Peter Botsman (2002), in his address to the CEO Institute, argues that Higher Education churns out graduates who are not fit for the ‘real world’.
“Will we have to retrain this MBA or PhD before we can use them? Before they can add any value or even make sense? Are the new graduates adaptive? Imaginative? And what do they bring to our tasks other than a standardised series of methods and ideas?”
Gardner (1993) has also argued that we teach children and students ‘out of context’.

In order to address these issues, students in the first year of their B.Ed(EC) have been given the task of creating learning centres for young children using technology tools on the topic of Indigenous Australian studies. The students have to engage in a number of tacit skills that cannot be taught formally in the classroom. Some of these skills correlate with those identified in Britain’s Changemakers program: assessing strengths and weaknesses; planning time and energy; carrying through an agreed responsibility; negotiating; dealing with people in power; solving problems; resolving conflict; coping with stress and tension; and, communicating. Botsman refers to all this as bringing the substance of University learning into the ‘play of life’.

Even though only in their first year of study, the B.Ed students are already projecting their learning into a ‘life’ situation. Using Constructivist theories of learning they plan and run a day of activities for children invited from local schools and pre-schools. The benefits of the project affect all involved, including the wider community.

This presentation (or paper) will describe the project; explain the processes the student undertake; and identify the positive attributes in the light of ‘new’ learning possibilities in Higher Education, including the progressive nature of tasks within this B.Ed.

Presenters

Jennifer Munday  (Australia)
Lecturer in Arts and Technology Education
Murray Education Unit
Charles Sturt University

Along with colleagues, John Rafferty and Yalmambirra, Jenni Munday received the Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award for the ongoing implementation of the Indigenous Studies through technology project.

Keywords
  • Indigenous Australian Studies
  • Technology
  • Teacher Education



(30 min Conference Paper, English)