April 2009
(Volume 12, Number 2)
ISSN  1449-2091

Michael Michie

Tiwi designs by Jennifer Coombs
Munupi Arts & Crafts Association,
Pirlangimpi, Melville Island, NT

Indigenous Science Links






Kingitangi Day, University of Waikato (Aotearoa New Zealand)

As a result of consultation and deliberation between the Kingitanga (the King movement), specifically with King Tuheitia; and the University of Waikato, a day to acknowledge and proactively support the Kïngitanga and the 150 year celebrations has been agreed upon. The 21st of April is the birthday of King Tuheitia which he has sanctioned to be celebrated as the  University's Kïngitanga Day. This special day proactively realigns our commitment and support to an important feature of residing in Waikato and Aotearoa.

There will be no classes organised on this day but staff are expected to be on campus and to be the guests of the Pro VC Mäori Office. Activities have been planned for us to be together as a Campus wide whänau. More information to follow. This day will be an annual event for the University.

Other annual events that  support the Kïngitanga are Poukai (30 marae hui throughout the year: refer to the Regatta at Turangawaewae 28th March, Koroneihana (Coronation) 15 - 21 August. The Kïngitanga Day at the University of Waikato, adds to these significant hui that celebrate the King movement. 


Indigenous Rangers wow International Turtle Conference 

Indigenous Sea Rangers from northern Australia have impressed international delegates attending the 29th Sea Turtle Symposium in Brisbane with their world-leading approach to turtle management. Indigenous Sea Rangers form the Kimberley, Top End of the Northern Territory, Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait Islands spoke of their success in working together to conserve marine turtles across northern Australia, one of the world’s last strongholds for marine turtles. The rangers are part of a north Australian project run by Indigenous people to manage marine turtle on a regional scale that matches the large migratory range of the animals —the first project of its kind in the world.

The Dugong and Marine Turtle Project, coordinated by the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA), partners with the Kimberley Land Council, Northern Land Council, Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation and the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

NAILSMA Chief Executive Officer Joe Morrison said he was not surprised by the attention the project was receiving from the international community. “Indigenous land and sea managers across northern Australia are world-leaders in many regards; combining Traditional Knowledge with modern science to manage marine turtle in Australia,” said Mr Morrison.

Pearson Wigness, Kaurareg Traditional Owner said the community-based management plans recently developed by Torres Strait Islanders raised a lot of interest. “People were very interested in the collaborative approach we have used to develop our turtle and dugong management plans in the Torres Strait,” he said. “They were impressed by the way we have integrated Traditional Law with the needs of other stakeholders like government and the scientific community to manage turtle and dugong in our region; and they want to learn from our example,” said Mr Wigness.

Participants at symposium applauded the actions of Indigenous communities to establish monitoring and research programs on marine turtle populations.The President of the International Sea Turtle Society Dr Colin Limpus presented the Dhimurru Rangers with a “Champions Award” last night, recognising their leadership in sea turtle conservation and sea country management.

This the first time the international event has been held in Australia, attracting some 750 delegates from 86 countries to Brisbane. The annual symposium is the premier event for the world’s sea turtle enthusiasts, researchers and managers. The Symposium is organised by the International Sea Turtle Society.

The Indigenous delegation included Bardi Jawi Rangers, One Arm Point, WA; Dhimurru Rangers, Nhulunbuy, NT; li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Rangers, Borolloola, NT; Numbulwar Numburindi Amalahgayag lnyung Rangers, Numbulwar, NT; Mardbalk Sea Rangers, Warruwi, NT; and land and sea managers from the Torres Strait. This Dugong and Marine Turtle Project is supported by NAILSMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country.

Source: Charles Darwin University (

International History & Philosophy of Science Teaching Group

The February and March issues of the IHPST newsletter are now available on the web at: Please note at #2 that the submission date for the group’s June conference is March 23. The following is a list of contents of the March newsletter.

1.    Science & Education Latest Number (Vol.18 Nos. 3-4)

2.    IHPST Tenth International Conference, June 2009 (March 23 submission date)

3.    Science & Education Journal Report

4.    Applied HPS in the Classroom, Journal Special issue, Call for Papers

5.    International Symposium:  'Learning by doing: Experiments and Instruments in the History of Science Teaching'

6.    World History of Science Online project

7.    Darwinian Celebrations

8.    Teaching Evolution: Theoretical and Pedagogical Issues, GEITONAS School, Athens, 7-8 November 2009

9.    Community Web Portal for Science and Mathematics Knowledge

10.   XXIII International Congress of History of Science and Technology, 26 - 31 July, 2009, Budapest

11.   5th Greek Conference, History, Philosophy &Teaching of the Natural Sciences, University of Cyprus, Nicosia,  11-14 June 2009

12.   HOPOS Conference June 24 - 27, 2010, Budapest

13.   Opinion

14.   Book Notes Jerry Coyne 2009. Why Evolution Is True. New York: Viking Press

15.   Current Research

16.   Publications for Sale

17.   Coming Conferences

18.   IHPST Executive

19.   IHPST Graduate Students

20.   IHPST Email List

21.   Newsletter Items

Teaching from Country (Charles Darwin University)

Aboriginal knowledge authorities from remote communities have had little opportunity to contribute actively to academic teaching in Australian universities.

This program sets up and evaluates distance education in reverse: the Yol?u (northeast Arnhemland Aboriginal) lecturers are in remote places and the students of Yol?u languages, culture and fine arts, are (mostly) on campus.

The program is based on the Darwin campus of Charles Darwin University and the web page can be accessed at

$1.82m project to boost Indigenous teachers in remote communities 

A joint venture between Catholic Education NT and Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) School of Education is set to boost the number of Indigenous teachers working in the Territory’s remote communities. Called Growing Our Own, the program involves offering CDU’s Bachelor of Teaching and Learning to teaching assistants who are working in Catholic community schools in five remote communities in the NT. The Australian Government commissioned and funded the $1.82 million project in response to a primary goal of the NT Intervention to provide more Indigenous teachers in remote communities.

The program, launched Friday, 20 March at a ceremony on Nguiu, Bathurst Island, will run over two years. Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning at the Catholic Education Office NT, Brenda Keenan said building a more sustainable school staff from within local Indigenous communities was an important goal. “With ever-increasing enrolment of Indigenous students across our five Indigenous Catholic community schools, the ongoing challenge for Catholic Education, and indeed all education sectors in the NT, is to attract, develop and retain skilled, experienced teachers and leaders,” she said. “Through Growing Our Own, local Indigenous teachers will be best placed to deliver and plan the curriculum around Indigenous languages and culture that best serves the needs of their students.”

Head of the School of Education at CDU, Professor Alison Elliott said the program has been tailored for assistant teachers and aims to blend the best of mainstream teacher education and locally relevant and culturally responsive knowledge and experience. “These teachers are more likely to stay working at their local school than are non-resident teachers and thereby ensure the continuity in education delivery and the links with the community,” she said. Professor Elliott said the teacher assistants would continue to work at their respective schools while they studied for a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning. “They are guided and supported ‘in place’ by a CDU lecturer who works with them in a small group. They are also assigned an on-site, in-school mentor,” she said.

Source: Charles Darwin University

Small Settlements: Bigger than they look

Australia’s small desert settlements are a lot larger and far more resilient than they look. At a time when many small settlements are under pressure to close, and their people to be swept away – often to a marginal existence – into cities and towns, new research from the Desert Knowledge CRC is revealing there is more to the desert community than meets the eye.

To read the media release, go to

Source: Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre.

The dingo's role revitalised

The dingo has had a bad rap in Australia, but new research on its benefits for native ecosystems may give the dingo something to howl about.You may be interested in the new research reported in this ECOS article that shows more clearly the impact of dingos on suppressing fox and cat impacts on native species.


Pandemic influenza containment and the social and cultural context of Indigenous communities

This letter has been published in Australasian section, Journal Rural & Remote Health on pandemic influenza and Indigenous communities.
Pandemic influenza containment and the cultural and social context of Indigenous communities 

Invitations of Input on Draft Global Science Education Accord

The following notice appeared on the NARST Listserve recently.

In May 2008, a small group of scientists, science teachers, and educational researchers was gathered in Hong Kong for a three-day in depth discussions on global science education issues. As a result of the meeting, a preliminary network -- Global Science Education Network--has formed. Such a network is driven by the goal that all children should have opportunities to experience a rigorous, coherent and engaging science education regardless where they live.


Such a document will guide this Global Science Education Network (GSEN) to

     re-conceptualize modern science curriculum

     design curriculum wisely as between depth and breadth

     organize instructional resources

     support teacher preparation and professional development

     facilitate effective communication between students, classrooms, teachers, universities and industry

     collect learning information and assessment data for rapid and non-intrusive curriculum evaluation.


Your careful review and feedback on the document will be critical for our efforts to reach our goal. In the following link,, is the Accord for your review. If you wish to be listed as one of the contributors to enhance this document, please leave your contact information when you provide your feedback on line. You are also welcome to leave your thoughts without identifying yourself.




International Journal of Environmental & Science Education

The latest issue of International Journal of Environmental & Science Education has now been released and you may access all journal content freely from the web site:

Recent books

Shaw, Paula. (2009). Seven seasons in Aurukun: My unforgettable time at a remote Aboriginal school. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. (AUD26.95)
Arriving in a tiny Aboriginal community in far north Queensland, Paula had little idea what to expect. Seven seasons in Aurukun is her very personal story of teaching at the local school and making a life for herself in a challenging new world. (Back cover)

Recent articles

Chigeza, P. (2008). Language negotiations Indigenous students navigate when learning science. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, Vol 37.

Abstract:This paper reports on implications of a research study with a group of 44 Indigenous middle school students learning the science concepts of energy and force. We found the concepts of energy and force need to be taught in English as we failed to find common comparable abstract concepts in the students’ diverse Indigenous languages. Three categories of describing the concepts were identified: 9 students who used scientific genre to explain and demonstrate the concepts (20%); 15 students who used limited scientific genre to explain and demonstrate the concepts in terms of direct action (35%); and 20 students who did not use scientific genre to either describe or display by direct action their knowledge of the concepts (45%).

Indigenous students learning school science navigate language negotiations before negotiating the language challenges in science learning. School science achievement is measured using Standard Australian English concept descriptors. These assessment instruments are designed to measure the student’s negotiations from Standard Australian English into science. It is possible that these instruments do not adequately measure the Indigenous student’s negotiations from their vernacular language into science. Developing a Creole Science could empower Indigenous students learning school science to develop the capacity to successfully negotiate the language systems.

Recent tv: Voices from the Cape

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation recently broadcast two programs entitled Voices from the Cape as part of their regular Message Stick series. Message Stick is a weekly Indigenous program. The two programs show a teaching approach used at Aurukun, the community mentioned just above.

The programs can be accessed online at the Message Stick website, You can also access an earlier program called The Apology.

It is possible that overseas readers may not be able to access these programs because of copyright problems.


IHPST Tenth International Conference
24-28 June 2009
University of Notre Dame, Indiana

The University of Notre Dame's HPS Graduate Program and Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values will host the 2009 Tenth biennial IHPST meeting June 24-28, 2009 on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana. It will continue the IHPST tradition of sustained and serious research being discussed in a collegial and convivial atmosphere.

Proposals are welcomed in all areas and periods of history and philosophy of science with implications for theoretical and pedagogical issues in science and mathematics teaching. Philosophers of Education are also invited to contribute to these same issues.

For more information about IHPST 2009, please visit the conference website:

Learning Progressions in Science (LeaPS) Conference

24-26 June 2009

Iowa City, IA

Learning progressions – descriptions of increasingly sophisticated ways of thinking about or understanding a topic (National Research Council, 2007) – represent a promising framework for bridging the chasm between cognitive science research on how people learn in a given domain and the methods for teaching and assessing science.  Because of this potential, they are rapidly gaining popularity in the science education community. However, there are several issues faced by all engaged in this work.  In particular, we have identified four aspects of work on learning progressions that are critical for these tools to make the maximum possible impact in science education: (1) defining learning progressions; (2) developing assessments to elicit student responses relative to a learning progression; (3) modeling and interpreting student performance relative to a learning progression; and (4) using learning progressions.  This working conference will provide a structured forum to facilitate discussions around the challenges in learning progressions work and to develop syntheses of ideas for use by the field in future work.

The registration system is now open for the LeaPS conference.  More details about the registration process are available at the website (  Registration will close on March 29, 2009.


7-11 August 2009
Nhulunbuy, NT

Key Forum: Creative Industries, 8-10 August

The 11th Garma Festival – Australia's leading cultural exchange event – will be held from 7-11 August 2009 at Gulkula, North East Arnhem Land, NT.

Garma is a nationally significant, intimate, spectacular celebration of cultural traditions and practices – dance, song, music, and art (including presentations, collaborations, sales) – and the annual venue for a major Key Forum on Indigenous issues.

At Garma 2009, the theme of the Key Forum will be Creative Industries. It will include important and practical discussions on issues and practices surrounding cultural outputs and inputs and commercial opportunities afforded Indigenous Australians through training, development and practice in many forms of Creative Industry, including design, music, graphic art, multimedia, film and photography, performance arts, visual arts, broadcasting and electronic media, new media and professional writing and editing. One of the central issues to be discussed will be the extent and nature of the Creative Industries interface with Indigenous Australians, including cultural and commercial rights, and the place of traditional art.

As well as the Key Forum and integrated academic presentations on language and culture, Key Forum participants also have the opportunity to watch the daily bunggul and music performances, enjoy Garma art exhibitions and projects, and participate in evening and night activities.

Garma is a unique combination of education, entertainment and real cultural interaction, exchange and immersion. It is indeed a privilege to experience Garma, and there are several categories of registration available for visitors.

UniServe Science Annual Conference
1-2 October 2009
University of Sydney

The UniServe Science Annual Conference will be held in the AVCC Week in October (1-2 October) 2009.  The Discipline Meeting Day will be 30 September.


We are asking your assistance in suggesting a theme and/or nominating possible keynote speakers for this year's conference.


We have collated the suggestions made at last year¹s conference and they are on the conference web site.

For further details of the conference see the web site at

We are also interested in hearing from any discipline group that wishes to take advantage of the Discipline Day. Last year we had groups from Physics, Psychology and Biology.


ICASE Asian Symposium XI
1-3 November 2009
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, P.R.China.

The 11th ICASE Asian Symposium will be organised by the ICASE-GNU Guilin Teacher Training Center (GTTC) with the Research Institute of Science Education (RISE) at Guangxi Normal University, from the 1-3 November 2009. The theme of the symposium is Bridging the Gap between Formal and Informal Science Education and is a founding event for the newly established ICASE Guilin Teacher Train Center. The symposium will provide an opportunity for science teachers and education to meet in order to

Learning from and interact with invited science education experts on how top create ad wisely use high educationally valued teaching materials in order to make genuine improvements in science learning and teaching;

Share ideas and experiences with each other related to science teaching practices

Visit and discuss RISE and its partner schools on developing featured science teaching resources.

The symposium venue will be the Yuchai Campus of Guangxi Normal University and all academic activities will take place within the RISE facilities. The language of the symposium will be English. Updated details will appear on the RISE website

For more information please contact the secretariat – Miss Handan Huang, Research Institute of Science Education, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, P.R. China. E-mail

2nd International Science Education Conference - Science education: Shared issues, common future
24-26 November 2009

We, science educators at National Institute of Education in Singapore, would like to invite you to the 2nd International Science Education Conference (ISEC 2009) in Singapore.

ISEC 2009: Science Education: Shared Issues, Common Future November 24-26, 2009 National Institute of Education, Singapore

The deadline for submission of Abstract is June 1st , 2009.

For more details, please visit the website at

We hope to see you in Singapore in 2009.


Davos, Switzerland    

9-11 January 2010

The World Universities Forum was created in the belief that academe must better engage today's most crucial questions, and that higher education itself must be included as part of the wider discussion of global change.  The Forum encourages the participation of university executives, administrators, scholars and research students, as well as journalists, policy makers, business and political leaders, and others who understand that the importance of the university extends well beyond campus.

As well as impressive international line-up of main speakers, the Forum will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the Forum Call-for-Papers. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in the fully refereed World Universities Forum Journal. If you are unable to attend the Forum in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic Journal, as well as access to the electronic version of the Journal.

Whether you are a virtual or in-person presenter at this Forum, we also encourage you to present on the Forum YouTube Channel. Please select the Online Sessions link on the Forum website for further details.

The deadline for the next round in the Call-for-Papers (a title and short abstract) is 12 March 2009. Proposals are reviewed within two weeks of submission. Full details of the Forum, including an online proposal submission form, are to be found at the Forum website -


This is mostly a summary of upcoming conferences. More details may have been given above or in previous bulletins as shown. A web-based contact is usually included. Inclusion of conferences in this list is not to be read as an endorsement of the conference.


April 2009

17-21 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual conference, Hyatt Regency Orange County, Garden Grove, CA 92840, USA

21 April: Kingitangi Day, University of Waikato, New Zealand (

May 2009

3-6 May: DreamCatching 2009: Hands-on Workshops in Math and Science for Teachers of Aboriginal Students, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. (Aug08)

22-24 May: Frontiers in Science Education Research 2009 (FISER’09) , May 22-24 2009, Famagusta, Northern Cyprus (Jun08)

30 May - 1 June: Second Global Studies Conference, Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Oct09)

June 2009

2-5 June: Seventh International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities. Beijing, China (Dec08)

15-18 June: Ninth International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, Riga, Latvia  (Aug08)

24-28 June: IHPST Tenth International Conference, University of Notre Dame, Indiana (April09)

24-26 June: Learning Progressions in Science (LeaPS) Conference, Iowa City, IA (April09)

July 2009

1-4 July: 40th Australasian Science Education Reseach Association conference (ASERA), Deakin University Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria.

1-4 July: Sixteenth International Conference on Learning, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, (Feb09)

4-7 July: CONASTA58, "Science Education - a Bridge to the Future", Launceston, Tasmania ( (Dec08)

5-12 July: NAIDOC Week (Australia)

8-11 July: Fourth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of Athens, Athens, Greece (Dec08)

28-31 July: Fourth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Venice, Italy  (Dec08)

August 2009

7-11 August: GARMA Festival, Nhulunbuy, NT (April09)

31 August - 4 September: European Science Education Research Association Conference, Istanbul, Turkey (Oct08)

October 2009

1-2 October: UniServe Science Annual Conference, University of Sydney (April09)

21-23 October: 1st East Asian Association for Science Education, "Science Education for Tomorrow: Voices of East Asia", Taiwan. (Dec09)

November 2009

1-3 November: ICASE Asian Symposium XI, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, P.R.China (April09)

10-12 November:
Third International Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (CoSMEd) 
2009. RECSAM, Penang (Feb09)

24-26 November: 2nd International Science Education Conference (ISEC 2009) Science Education: Shared Issues, Common Future National Institute of Education, Singapore. (April09)


January 2010

9-11 January: Third World Universities Forum, Davos, Switzerland (April09)

March 2010

20-24 March: National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual conference, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

June 2010

28 June – 2 July: ICASE World Conference 2010, Tartu, Estonia (Oct08)

July 2010

Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), University of Newcastle (NSW). Dates and venue to be announced.


April 2011

2-6 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual conference, Orlando FA, USA


March 2012

24-28 March: National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual conference, Indianapolis IN, USA

Last updated: 1 April 2009