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ERIC Number: ED400844
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Political Correctness or Telling It Like It Is: Selecting Books about Australia's Indigenous People for Use in Australian Schools.
Gregg, Alison
In 1992, the Australian government decided that all children in Australian schools should have access to an Aboriginal Studies program. New courses were designed to bring about greater community understanding of Aboriginal heritage and history, culture and values, but before the courses could be implemented, schools had to be given access to books and other resources of sufficient accuracy, quality, and relevance to underpin the program. This paper discusses the criteria for selection and the innovative resource evaluation process undertaken by the Aboriginal Studies Project team in Western Australia. Stereotypes were confronted, addressed, and reverted in the selection of resources: (1) Australian Aboriginal communities are not all the same; (2) Australian Aboriginal cultures are not primitive; (3) dreaming stories, based on Aboriginal spiritual heritage, are not the same as fairy stories in other cultures; and (4) Aboriginal stories are not like folk tales--not everyone has the right to tell them. Each resource had to demonstrate an understanding of Aboriginal culture and values; eschew derogatory words and phrases that may have been tolerated in colonial times but are unacceptable today; and had to recognize the diversity of Aboriginal cultures and languages in different parts of the country. Reaching consensus on the questions of negative images of Aboriginal people or lifestyles; acceptable standards for language use; and insistence on Aboriginal authorship proved more problematic than other considerations. (Contains 15 references.) (Author/SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia