Education Support

Aboriginal and TSI

You are to research these aspects of Noongar culture and Educational guidelines. Answers are to be written in short paragraphs and include references.

  1. Describe some differences between the culture of Noongar people and those from a different language group.
  2. Identify any local geographical features (creeks/rivers/hills/ocean) that are important to the local Noongar people. Why is this important? Kings park, Rottnest, Swan River, (Optus Stadium Bridge)
  3. Identify any local plants that are important to Noongar people and how they use these plants. One example might be what we call the “WA Christmas tree”.
  4. Identify any local animals that are important to Noongar people and how they use these animals.
  1. Research the Aboriginal Education Framework and discuss the main points.
  1. What policies or legislation are relevant for AIEO’s in their job role?
  2. Write examples of how you could contribute to a positive education environment when working with Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander children.
  3. Explain how you have acquired knowledge of local Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander culture and developed your own skills and knowledge regarding their culture.
  4. Identify pastoral care initiatives. Explain how could you assist with these?



Part A

Task 1- Cultural Safety

  1. Briefly explain each of the following terms:
  • Cultural safety
  • Cultural awareness
  • Cultural competence


  1. Visit the DoE policy portal website below and identify 2 documents that you need to be aware of when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students.


  1. How do these documents impact on the job role of an Education Assistant?
  2. In what ways could you demonstrate respect for and promote cultural diversity in a
    school environment?


Task 2- Ill health and trauma


  1. List 5 common diseases experienced by Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander people and explain how these diseases could impact on their health.


  1. Explain the impact of trauma can have on an individual’s ability for decision making, communication and understanding and retaining information in relation to education.

Part B

Read the case study below.


Sasha is an Education Assistant at a school in a small town in regional WA. The population of the town is quite diverse, with people from many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Sasha has noticed that although there are a number of Aboriginal families with young children in the town, none of them utilise the Kindy program where she works. She would often see groups of children with their families playing down at the local park.  She asked the classroom teacher why this might be happening and the teacher replied, “I don’t really know. During NAIDOC week we put a poster of a corroboree on the front door and invited people in the community to attend and do a dot painting activity but only one mum came along. They seem to prefer being at the park. There is a lot of unemployment in this town so most of the families probably couldn’t afford to pay the school fees anyway”.

Sasha noticed that many of the resources in the Kindy were quite old, and mainly reflected ‘European’ culture and were only written in English.


Answer the questions below.


  1. Why might Aboriginal families not be using the Kindy?


  1. What would be a more effective way to inform families about the Kindy program?


  1. Explain how the teacher has used a tokenistic approach?


Now read on…


Sasha is concerned about the situation and would like to encourage more local Aboriginal families to be involved with the school. She is not sure what to do so she speaks with her friend Nikita, an Aboriginal health worker at the local hospital. Nikita knows many of the families who go to the park, and has offered to introduce Sasha to Aunty Beryl, an elder in the community.


Answer the questions below.


  1. Why is it important for Nikita to introduce Sasha to Aunty Beryl, rather than Sasha going to the park on her own?


  1. What strategies will Sasha use to communicate with Aunty Beryl in a respectful way?


  1. What will Sasha say to Aunty Beryl at their first meeting?




Continue reading …



Although she was very nervous, Sasha was delighted to meet Aunty Beryl, who seemed to know everyone in the town. Over the next month or so, Sasha and Aunty Beryl met at the park a number of times, and each time Sasha learned more about the local community and the culture and the different dialects of the local Aboriginal people. She had also met a few of the families who spent time at the park and learned some games from the children. She now had lots of ideas she could share about how to make the Kindy a culturally safe, inviting and welcoming place for both the local Aboriginal families and the other cultural groups in town.


Answer the questions below.


  1. Why did Sasha meet with Aunty Beryl a number of times?


  1. Who should Sasha share her ideas with before she implements them?



  1. What regional offices within the Department of Education and Agencies could Sasha contact to get further information and support about providing education for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people?


  1. List 5 strategies that Sasha could implement in order to make the Kindy a culturally safe place for all families.



  1. How can Sasha demonstrate respect and learn more about the various dialects of the local Aboriginal people?


  1. List 5 things that Sasha could suggest to implement in the Kindy program to expose and encourage an appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity.



  1. List 3 strategies Sasha could use to evaluate whether her strategies are working.


  1. Who would be involved in this evaluation?



  1. Once you have evaluated the cultural safety strategies the Kindy has implemented explain what you would do to make further improvements.






  1. Give 3 examples of how are the roles of an EA supporting literacy are different to those of the teacher?




  1. Identify 3 skills in each of the following areas that YOU as an EA need in order to support students in the classroom? Explain why each skill is necessary.


  1. Reading skills
  2. Writing skills
  3. Numeracy skills



  1. Explain the relationship between spoken language, reading and writing in a classroom.



  1. Describe, using at least 2 examples of explanations and/or questions, the explicit talk you would use with:


  1. Making connections to prior knowledge before reading
  2. Decoding an unknown word based on what makes sense
  3. Recalling information after reading
  4. Personal reflections on the text after reading



Research and Questions



  1. Document in ½ page the historical context and current research relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Include names and dates in your answer.


  1. Describe in ½ page the process of establishing a diagnosis of ASD in Australia.


  1. Define and explain in a paragraph how the following affects a child’s learning and development:
  1. Executive functioning (include working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control) and
  2. Theory of mind.


  1. Report on the symptoms or difficulties experienced by students with ASD in relation to:

(Give at least 6 specific examples under each of the two headings below. These may be in the form of dot points listing what you might see in a child with ASD.)

  1. Persistent deficits in social interactions and communication
  2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities including

hyper- or hypo reactivity to sensory input





  1. Write one goal which is specific and measurable, for a student with ASD in relation to a “deficit in social communication”.  This goal should be one that you might see on an IEP.  Include how you might support the student to achieve the goal.


  1. Write one goal which is specific and measurable, for a student with ASD in relation to a “restricted, repetitive pattern of behaviour, narrow interest or sensory sensitivity”. This goal should be one that you might see on a BMP.  Include how you might support the student to achieve the goal.


  1. Describe in a paragraph each of the following communication systems and how they assist students who have limited verbal communication
  2. Key word signs
  3. Low tech device – Visual timetable
  4. High tech device – Big Mack. Also describe the maintenance and updating for the Big Mack.


  1. Describe in detail (at least ½ page each) the following 3 strategies used by teachers to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
  2. Social stories with examples
  3. Preventative breaks with examples and
  4. Behaviour token systems.



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