Which is more important for our kids? Making them stronger or smarter?

Having high expectations of every child is important. Teachers should leave assumptions/bias at the door and recognise that all children need high expectations. Help make children strong & smart and you help make our nation stronger and smarter.

Dr Chris Sarra

My mum dreamt of being an archaeologist when she was a child. It was an ambition she was denied, not because she was intellectually incapable but because she was only allowed to stay at school until year 3. When I asked her why, she replied: “I guess they just thought of us as uncivilised natives, and that we weren’t capable of learning.”

My mother was sold short by low _ or rather no _ expectations of Aboriginal people. This attitude persisted in my time at school. Handing back a test, my year 11 teacher joked: “Sarra got 75 per cent. Must have been an easy test!” I laughed along with the rest of the class, and it was only years later when I was studying to be a teacher that I questioned whether or not my teachers’ expectations had stifled my sense of who I was and what I could…

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8 comments on “Which is more important for our kids? Making them stronger or smarter?

  1. Marg Seydel says:

    Sometimes children need more than their parents to encourage them on….I had a Welfare Officer who told me I could be a Nurse or a Teacher!


  2. Thank you for a provocative re-blog Elke. We have the same issues in our indigenous communities where the dominant culture imposes itself on the local culture. There was good research which demonstrated that linking one’s traditions and culture to schooling was a great bridge for many children. It included retaining language, stories, traditions, etc. and inviting community elders into the classroom and taking children into the community and onto the land.


    • elketeaches says:

      Hi Ivon.

      It’s so good to hear from you, it’s been a while. I hope all is well with you. Yes, I think retaining language etc is really important but it appears there will always be dispute and criticism about how much embedded (or integrated) indigenous learning should occur and when & where.

      We recently recognised Indigenous students at our school via NAIDOC week. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. I supported their efforts by purchasing a shirt they created and wore it at school. It’s amazing how many kids were impressed to see me & other teachers wear it but also how many non-Indigenous students who were unaware of NAIDOC.

      Enjoy the rest of your summer over there.



      • I am doing well Elke. I had not seen many postings from you recently and enjoy the ones you post. It sounds like you are keeping busy. I guess it is winter there, so enjoy your Australian winter.

        Creating awareness is an important first step.


  3. Margaret says:

    If kids do not learn our Indigenous history somewhat they will never make the right connections!


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