All Indigenous communities have a time-tested child-rearing knowledge base that reflects and honors their cultural beliefs and historical experiences. Many of these communities emphasize group harmony and collaboration and respect for the natural environment—competencies that are increasingly important on our crowded and depleted planet. Unfortunately, Indigenous peoples are often marginalized within their own countries, and experience disproportionately high rates of poverty. Poverty and the associated lack of access to nutritious food, quality health care services, and education can prevent children from reaching their full potential. The authors of this article consider how to integrate Indigenous knowledge, spirituality, and priorities with research-based best practices for education and development. They describe a program that uses culturally relevant materials, storytelling, and music to encourage parent-child bonding and positive familial and community interactions, all designed to contribute to optimal child development in disadvantaged Aboriginal communities in Australia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Management of Technology and Innovation