- May 2021
The foremost consideration with respect to teaching of the Australian Aboriginal memory technique is the cultural safety aspect and respect for the peoples who developed this approach. In our program, the teaching of this program was administered by an experienced Australian Aboriginal Educator, who was able to integrate the method into our teaching program, while simultaneously preventing several breaches of cultural etiquette and terminology which could easily have compromised the material had it been delivered by a non-Australian Aboriginal educator (TY), however well-intentioned. The need for a deep knowledge and understanding of the appropriate context for teaching and delivery of this material is probably the main factor which would preclude more widespread adoption of this technique.
I really appreciate the respect given to indigenous knowledge here.
The researchers could have gone much further in depth in describing it and the aspects of what they mean by cultural "safety". They've done a disservice here by downplaying widespread adoption. Why not? Why couldn't we accord the proper respect of traditions to actively help make these techniques more widespread? Shouldn't we be willing to do the actual work to accord respect and passing on of these knowledges?
Given my reading in the area, there seems to be an inordinate amount of (Western) "mysticism" attributed to these techniques (here and in the broader anthropology literature) rather than approaching them head-on from a more indigenous perspective. Naturally the difficult part is being trusted enough by tribal elders to be taught these methods to be able to pass them on. (Link this idea to Tim Ingold's first chapter of Anthropology: Why It Matters.)
All this being said, the general methods known from the West, could still be modified to facilitate in widespread adoption of those techniques we do know. Further work and refinement of them could continue apace while still maintaining the proper respect of other cultures and methods, which should be the modern culture default.
If nothing else, the West could at least roll back the educational reforms which erased their own heritage to regain those pieces. The West showing a bit of respect for itself certainly wouldn't be out of line either.
- Mar 2021
Hein, G., Gamer, M., Gall, D., Gründahl, M., Domschke, K., Andreatta, M., Wieser, M. J., & Pauli, P. (2021). Social cognitive factors outweigh negative emotionality in predicting COVID-19 related safety behaviors. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/5sbzy