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'Plants for People' multimedia pilot project: A new paradigm

Project Title

Plants for people multimedia pilot project - A new paradigm

Project Coordinators

Professor David Treagust, Professor Sue Trinidad

Period

2006-2007

Funding Agency Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project (Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST))

Background

As part of the federal government Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project, this particular project aimed to enhance the teaching and learning of science, technology and mathematics through a focus on the traditional knowledge of plants, ecological systems and natural resilience that are emphasised in Indigenous communities. Thus, while aiming to improve science, mathematics and ICT learning outcomes for Years 6-9 students, the project also aimed to foster a greater understanding and valuing of Indigenous culture, and increased self-esteem and cultural pride for Indigenous students.

Description

Five schools that represented regional as well as remote locations within WA participated in the project. All the schools had high enrolments of Indigenous students. A network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous teacher associates assisted teachers from the schools to design multimedia learning activities to develop knowledge and understandings about Indigenous sustainability principles and practices. More specifically, the project developed CD materials for lessons on building a school Noongar Garden based on the Noongar six seasons. Examples of activities that supported student learning were: a field trip to a local dam to learn about Noongar culture; collecting wattle seeds and making wattle seed bread; using plants to dye silk; and using plants for medicinal purposes. A literature survey of Noongar plant uses was also developed as part of the CD resource. An additional component of the project was the provision of professional development for the teachers involved, to support them in their implementation of the teaching materials.

Benefits to Rural and Regional Education

This project has enabled the support and production of resources for teachers and students in regional and remote Western Australia. The CD produced allows teachers and students to better understand and develop knowledge and understandings about Indigenous sustainability principles and practices. Thus, the project has fostered a greater understanding and valuing of Indigenous culture. At the same time increased self-esteem and cultural pride have been engendered in Indigenous students.

Contact Professor Sue Trinidad

 

 

 

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