Australian Indigenous Education Conference
"Living better together"
4-7 April 2000, Fremantle WA

Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA)
29 June - 1 July 2000
Fremantle, WA

Conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association (CONASTA)
2 - 7 July 2000
Perth, WA


Glen Aikenhead forwarded the following message.

A new book by Greg Cajete (1999) has just come out:

Igniting the sparkle: An Indigenous science education model. Skyand, NC 28776, USA: Kivaki Press.

Cajete is Native American and his earlier works have influenced me. I highly recommend the book to the network. (He has incorporated some of my ideas into his model for science education; ideas such as border crossing and culture brokering.)

(I checked the title on and it is available from there at UD$24.95 plus freight. MM)

UNESCO-ACEID Conference, Thailand (13-16 December 1999)

The theme of this conference was "Reforming learning, curriculum and pedagogy: Innovative visions for the new century", and although it focused on developing mainstream education in the region, some people were able to focus on issues of equity and minority groups.

Some interesting observations (for me, anyway)

It costs 1/12 th of an Australian teachers salary to put a computer in a classroom, but the salaries of 7 teachers in Bangladesh

Equity in Victoria (Australia) is having one computer to every 5 students. In India, the issue of equity is the education of girls to the end of primary school. (Not actually said by anybody, but a conclusion reached from listening to two keynote speeches one after the other.)

It appears that the new Information Technology will be the saviour of education, despite the failure of other avant garde technologies in the past. (Other people seemed to think that it would only widen the rift between the haves and the have nots.)

For some people it was their first contact with the terms "north" and "south" used to distinguish the developed from non-developed nations.

There was a number of papers on values education, with a range of perspectives (including citizenship and morals).

There were a number of papers which focused on intercultural and Indigenous issues. The authors and titles are given below:

Peter Coman (Queensland Anglican School System
Creating user-friendly schools for Indigenous Australians: The Queensland Anglican schools experience

Denham Grierson (Victorian Council of Christian Education)
World views and curriculum - the unaddressed dimension in learning systems

Mark Heyward (University of Tasmania)
Teaching and learning for intercultural literacy: Global citizenship in the new millennium

Michael Michie (Darwin)
Where are Indigenous peoples and their knowledge in the reforming of learning, curriculum and pedagogy?

Eve Mills (Tasmanian Department of Education)
Tasmanian Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum: An Indigenous stance on the development of curriculum in the 21st century

Rosemary Oliphant-Ingram and Jean Shaw (University of Mississippi)
Learning from literature: Treasures from the seven continents

Lilibeth Pinpin (Mirian College, Philippines)
Indigenous environmental practices in the Cordillera, Philippines: An approach to environmental education

Pala Wari and Paul Koro
Curriculum reforms in Papua New Guinea

Christine Weckert (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Globalisation and maintenance of culture: Some implications for curriculum and pedagogy

Robyn Williams (Northern Territory University)
Beyond basic skills - Aboriginal health worker experience in the Northern Territory, Australia

Birut Zemits (Sanderson High School, Darwin)
Indigenous viewpoints (poster)

I have copies of the abstracts for all of these papers and in some cases, the papers themselves. I can also give other contact details if required.

Three people who worked with me at the Northern Territory Department of Education and who were part of the original group forming this network, have moved on.

Mark Linkson has taken up a science advisory position at Thursday Island in Torres Strait, and will be continuing working with Indigenous students. He can now be contacted at

Jane Anlezark is an senior teacher at one of the Darwin primary schools.

Didamain Uibo has returned to teach at the Numbulwar Community Education Centre in her home community.

I want to wish them all the best in their new jobs and thank them for two years (and more) of support.

Michael Michie.

Compiled 1 February 2000

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