Society and Culture- Social and Cultural Continuity and Change: Aboriginal society in Australia

Essay by slurpyUniversity, Bachelor'sA, June 2007

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Society and Culture- Social and Cultural Continuity and Change

Aboriginal society in Australia

Since the Aboriginal people of Australia first came into contact with the Europeans that settled here there have been many positive and negative changes to the way they are educated today in contrast to how they were educated in their traditional society. Though many of the things being taught have changed, the ways of teaching them are being kept constant and being integrated into today's classrooms.

The aboriginal people went through a major upheaval to their ways of life when European settlers arrived. From the children being taught their oral history by their elders, learning to hunt and gather by watching then copying their older family members. Most of the learning was done informally but at ceremonies, intense periods of formal learning took place to show the child the ways of the tribe and its laws. European settlement changed all this, their ethnocentric views led to many changes in the aboriginal ways of life, most of them negative initially.

A great period of conflict including, genocide of the aborigines because of the Europeans views of superiority, cultural loss caused by the aborigines forced removal from their people, institutionalisation under the laws of paternalism and protectionism to make the Aboriginal people slave labour for the whites, and assimilation to eventually "breed out" the Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal children are a cultural minority in today's schools. Bomaderry High has an overall student number or approx 1000. Of that a very small minority are koori students. To assist them with their learning the Dept of Education employs an Aboriginal Education Assistant and a number of aboriginal teacher's aids who assist in reiterating what the teacher is teaching but expressing it in a way that is more understandable for the koori student.