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This book is about one man's fight to turn the tide of low expectations. When Chris Sarra arrived as the first Aboriginal principal of Cherbourg State School in 1998, it was a time of high hopes but low expectations in Indigenous education. Over the next six years, he transformed the school into a national success story, but not without controversy along the way. From his childhood as the youngest in a large Italian-Aboriginal family, Chris was taught to be proud of who he was and where he came from. But he only began to understand that not every Aboriginal child grew up with this sense of worth when he started working as a teacher. He became determined to defy expectations of being Aboriginal and, in doing so, to change them for others. His role at Cherbourg finally gave him a chance to put his philosophy into practice. Along the way, he battled the media, the education system and a culture of complacency.
Strong and Smart – Towards a Pedagogy for Emancipation tells the story of how Dr Chris Sarra overcame low expectations for his future to become an educator who has sought to change the tide of low expectations for other Indigenous students. The book draws upon Roy Bhaskar’s theory of Critical Realism to demonstrate how Indigenous people have agency and can take control of their own emancipation. Sarra shows that it is important for Indigenous students to have confidence in their own strength and ability to be as "able" as any other group within society. The book also compares and contrasts White perceptions of what it is to be Indigenous and Indigenous views of what it is to be an Aboriginal Australian. The book calls for Indigenous Australians to radically transform and not simply reproduce the identity that Mainstream White Australia has sought to foster for them. Here the book explores in what ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are "othered" by White Australians. Sarra seeks to advance the novel position that it is OK to be other to White Australia. The question becomes, "which other?" The Indigenous Student should not be treated as the Feared and/or Despised Other, nor should they be coerced into wholly assimilating into White culture.
Indigenist Critical Realism: Human Rights and First Australians’ Wellbeing consists of a defence of what is popularly known as the Human Rights Agenda in Indigenous Affairs in Australia. It begins with a consideration of the non-well-being of Indigenous Australians, then unfolding a personal narrative of the author Dr Gracelyn Smallwood's family. This narrative is designed not only to position the author in the book but also in its typicality to represent what has happened to so many Indigenous families in Australia. The book then moves to a critical engagement with dominant intellectual positions such as those advanced by commentators such as Noel Pearson, Peter Sutton, Gary Johns and Keith Windschuttle. The author argues that intellectuals such as these have to a great extent colonised what passes for common sense in mainstream Australia. This common sense straddles the domains of history, health and education and Dr Smallwood has chosen to follow her adversaries into all of these areas. This critique is anchored by a number of key philosophical concepts developed by the Critical Realist philosopher Roy Bhaskar. The book advances and analyses a number of case studies - some well-known, even notorious such as the Hindmarsh Island Affair (South Australia) and the Northern Territory Intervention; others like that of the author's late nephew Lyji Vaggs (Qld) and Aboriginal Elder May Dunne (Qld) much less so. Representing one of the first attempts to engage at a critical and intellectual level in this debate by an Indigenous activist, this book is essential reading for students and scholars interested in Critical Realism and colonialism.
'This is an outstanding book: it should be high on the list of any primary school teacher's set of references and a required text for pre-service teachers.' Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom In our technology-rich world, numeracy is just as important as the smartphone in your pocket. Students need to develop mathematical ways of seeing the world and strong problem-solving skills, and those foundations are taught in the primary school classroom. Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools covers the mathematical content taught in primary and middle years, always emphasising how students can connect what they learn in mathematics with other curriculum areas and with the world beyond the classroom. The authors draw on the latest international research to show how teachers can develop a rich repertoire of classroom teaching techniques, and effective planning, assessment and reporting methods. They outline approaches to creating supportive learning environments for all students, and to building their knowledge and confidence in using mathematics. This third edition has been updated throughout and includes a new chapter on numeracy. Evidence-based uses of digital technologies to support learning and teaching are included in every chapter. With practical strategies that can be implemented in the classroom, this book is an invaluable resource for pre-service and early career primary and middle years mathematics teachers.

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