Abstract: This paper reports on an action research study that investigated the integration of Aboriginal and Western science knowledges and languages into science learning for Aboriginal adolescent students in one regional independent secondary school in Queensland. To strengthen the students’ learning, the study drew on community members’ local knowledge and language of fauna and integrated this understanding with the teaching of science to 12 students in Years 8–9. As part of the study, 75 lessons were conducted and included an initial short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) study and a collection of local animal narratives. It applied thematic analysis to data to explore the effect of this integrated approach on students’ language use, pride in heritage, cultural knowledge, learning and the Linnaean zoology taxonomy. Results showed that to enable the flow of the science lessons, the average number of words spoken (103) at introduction times needed to remain low to facilitate engagement and to avoid embarrassment and an overwhelming factor when the teaching site is cluttered with words. The sensitive planning in terms of two-way Linnaean and local languages gave rise to meaningful contextualisation of culture.
Rioux, Joel, Ewing, Bronwyn, Cooper, Tom, 2018, Two-way conflation of home and school realities: local science and Linnaean language in the biology curriculum, Volume:1, Journal Article, viewed 11 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=13299.