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Recognition of Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Learning

The Recognition of Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Learning project is committed to fulfilling the learning entitlement of Aboriginal students and is a core component of Thrive.

As highlighted in the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration and the recent Shergold review into senior secondary pathways, Aboriginal students should be able to draw on their cultural knowledge and competency to demonstrate their learning, in language, or on Country.  

To ensure that SACE provides a more culturally responsive qualification that delivers opportunities for Aboriginal students to utilise their living history, languages and cultures as an integral part of their SACE, three recommendations were endorsed in-principle by the Board. These recommendations were:

  • Recognition of Aboriginal students’ cultural knowledge and learning
  • Aboriginal students to provide evidence of learning in language
  • Recognition of the authority of Aboriginal Language and Culture custodians to teach and assess Aboriginal languages and cultures

Pilot 1

In September 2020, the SACE Board and the SACE Aboriginal Allyship made a significant commitment to ensure all Aboriginal students would be able to demonstrate and share their language and cultural learning skills, and for those skills to be valued and recognised in the SACE.

Late in 2022, the project team worked closely with a small group of SACE Change Network schools to run a small-scale pilot to recognise Aboriginal students’ cultural knowledge and learning including:

  • Community led learning - students have their cultural knowledge and learning verified by a local Aboriginal authority and recognised by the SACE in partnership with the school
  • Self-directed cultural learning - students explore and develop their Aboriginal culture and identity and have this learning recognised as part of their SACE

We are excited to announce that 20 Aboriginal students received recognition for their Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Learning at the end of last year. This is a significant milestone for the SACE Board and for education more broadly. The learnings from this project connect to the assessment of capabilities, and the EIF and AIF pilots through exploring the nature of evidence and way we might partner with the broader community to verify and quality-assure student learning.

What’s Next?

This was a small-scale pilot, and we are still working through the evaluation findings. Learnings and insights will be shared and inform further development and next steps towards a second pilot.

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