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Assignment 2
Cognitive inquiry sequence





Part-1 Planning a cognitive inquiry sequence

How did aboriginal people meet their needs before colonization?

Answer: Before contact of European countries it was estimated that approx 0.3 million to 0.75 million aboriginal people were living in Australia with upper estimate of 1.25 million. Temperate coastal regions were the places of high population density and these are still the heavily populated places as well. Despite of this aboriginal Australian managed to stay under communities. The mode of life for the aboriginal Australian varied from one region to other and there were big changes in the mode of life (Attenbrow, 2010). Most aboriginal Australians were hunter gatherers while Torres Strait islanders were agriculturist and supplemented their food by including wild food. Aboriginal people residing near rivers and coasts were good fisherman and were dependent on fishes in order to meet their food requirements.

Many aboriginal people were having dependency on animal named dingo in order to assist them for hunting and to provide warmth during cold nights. There were two major economies existing in Victoria wherein they were based on the eel farming in irrigated and complex pond systems. One of the economy was based in the north region of Murray River while other was based in South west near Hamilton. A typical aboriginal diet in Australia before colonization includes kangaroo, pig, birds, snake, emu and many insects etc. Plant foods were also included in the diet such as fruits, nuts, taro, coconut and berries etc. Spear and boomerangs were used by aboriginal people for hunting (Stockton and Nanson, 2014).

Torres Strait islanders were living in the permanent villages while in some of the areas mainland aboriginal Australian were also living in the semi permanent villages as well. Development of permanent and semi permanent villages was dependent on the source of food in nearby region as most of them were dependent on fishing. Semi-nomadic communities were considered as the most indigenous communities wherein people would move in a seasonal cycle and will return to same place in same season. In order to fulfill their other needs they make use of fire such as growth of edible plants, reducing risk of catastrophic bushfire and to make travel easy.

Exchange systems were also in place among the aboriginal people in Australia so as to obtain goods of their need from the other communities. Some of the communities were agriculturist and they were producing food and this was exchanged with the fish and other wild food. This helped the aboriginal people to maintain a balance in their diet and exchange also enabled them to exchange things from other communities (Evans, 2007).

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Further it was explored through the existing literature in context to the aboriginal people in Australia that they lived an efficient life from the efficient laws and interacting through the environment around them. Aboriginal Australian people lived tribal life before the colonization period as well and most of them were nomadic (Mulvaney and Kamminga, 1999). They were moving from one place to other in search of food, shelter and water. Aboriginal people in Australia were dependent on fishes; wild life and some part of their food were also coming from the agriculture as well. In case the natural resources of yield capacity of the particular land went low, aboriginal people would move from that particular place to some other place in search of food. Aboriginal people in Australia were not farming the land, harvesting or herd animals.

Outcome being addressed: Describe the sources through which aboriginal people in Australia fulfilled their needs before colonization for food, shelter and other basic human needs.  

The six levels or stages for the learning process included in the cognitive inquiry system are given as under and they includes get interested, find out, sort information, get answer, make connection and evaluation. These six steps can be considered as the important tool for making systematic inquiry in order to deal with the particular situation faced in the context. These six steps for the cognitive inquiry pertaining to question in context can be given as under:

Levels (stages) of inquiry Activities
1.      Get interested §  Revise given unit question and discuss “how community development took place among aboriginal people in Australia and what factors affected development of communities in earlier times?”

§  The newly given focus question should be introduced with its background and students should be asked “what they like to do in their spare time?” and the responses should be recorded on a chart and pasted on white board.

§  Hand out table 1 (appendix) and ask students to fill up my need (today) in the given handout. Below information should be filled (Education Services Australia, 2011):

–          How they get food?

–          How they live?

§  Introduce to the class difference between the need fulfillment process for them and aboriginal Australian people.

§  Introduce question for investigation i.e. How did aboriginal people meet their needs before colonization?

2.      Find out §  Provide brief background of the need fulfillment process for aboriginal Australian people before and after colonization period

§  Ask students to compare the living mode for people to understand vital differences which colonization bring to their life

§  Analyze the findings students have explored through comparison between the living mode for aboriginal Australian people

§  Discuss how this relates with the focus question for need fulfillment process for aboriginal Australian people.

3.      Sort information §  Prepare a chart and ask students to develop separate column on it for needs of human being in terms of food, shelter, community system and other basic needs of human being

§  Ask students to make two separate sections wherein first section would contain the need for aboriginal people before colonization while other section would contain the need after colonization

§  Display this chart on white board

§  Students would to develop their own chart individually

4.      Answer the question §  Every student would present their char in class by filling need for aboriginal Australian people before and after colonization

§  A group discussion should be done to clarify “How did aboriginal people meet their needs before colonization?” through this activity.

§  In order to make assessment for the learning made through present activity students will make a diary entry. In diary entry they would reflect their learning from the present discussion.

§  Refreshments would be need for the features of diary entry made by the students

5.      Make connection §  Students should be connected with the need fulfillment process in present age so that they can understand the difficulties faced by aboriginal Australian so as to fulfill their basic needs before colonization

§  This information would enable the class to discuss below mentioned questions as a general discussion in the class:

–          Do they feel that aboriginal Australian were capable of fulfilling their needs before colonization time period.

–          Was life of aboriginal Australian people efficient before colonization period?

–          What were the dietary needs of aboriginal Australian and how dietary needs of the aboriginal Australian were fulfilled by them?

–          How aboriginal people in Australia developed exchange systems before colonization so as to fulfill their needs?

–          What were the unique features of community system developed in Australia in ancient time and how it was different from the present community system or community system post colonization?

–          How aboriginal people in Australia were doing hunting in order to get the wild food?

–          How fishing evolved among the aboriginal people in Australia in order to fulfill their food needs?

Based on the above questions included in the present task, students would be asked to fulfill positive, negative and interesting chart provided to them. Students would write down the issues as positive, negative or interesting in context to the fact how aboriginal people in Australia fulfilled their need before colonization period. Each of the factors understood by the students would be categorized under positive, negative or interesting section provided in the given chart as per table.

6.      Evaluation It is important to evaluate the learning which has been made through the present exercise pertaining to the current topic of how aboriginal people in Australia fulfilled their needs before colonization. Below are some of the important questions which can be discussed in order to evaluate the learning made:

§  What do you feel were the basic needs of aboriginal Australian?

§  How people in Australia were fulfilling their basic needs for food, shelter and community before colonization period?

§  How people in Australia were exploring the resources before colonization period?

§  How exchange system evolved among the aboriginal people in Australia?

§  How people in Australia developed agriculture, fishing and hunting activities in order to fulfill their needs?

§  How were communities developed in Australia and what difference can be pointed out among the different communities pertaining to aboriginal Australian prior to colonization period?

§  How different communities in aboriginal Australian people were different in terms of dependency on the food types such as agriculture, fisheries, wild food and others.



Education Services Australia (ESA). (2011). Teaching and Learning activities for CCE: Work and recreation in the 1850’s (Table 1). Retrieved from,29656.html

Attenbrow, . (2010). Sydney’s Aboriginal Past: Investigating the Archaeological and Historical Records. Sydney: UNSW Press. pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-1-74223-116-7. Retrieved 17 Sep 2014.

Stockton, E. D. and Nanson, G. C. (2014). “Cranebrook Terrace Revisited”.Archaeology in Oceania 39 (1): 59–60. Retrieved 17 Sep 2014.

Evans, R. (2007). A History of Queensland. Cambridge UK: Cambridge U. Press. pp. 10–12. ISBN 978-0-521-54539-6ISBN 0-521-54539-0.

Mulvaney, J. and Kamminga, J., (1999), Prehistory of Australia. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.

Part-2 Reflection

Before getting in the present activity for the teaching process to the students regarding the captioned history subject cognitive inquiry based teaching method seems like an abstract way of teaching. Further I was not even sure whether the cognitive inquiry model of teaching would develop a free flow method in order to teach students regarding the history subject. Another major challenge as a teacher was to develop interest for the history subjects as generally students are not so keen on understanding history subjects. Hence arousing interest through the cognitive inquiry based model was the major effort which was required in the present teaching method.

I am a learner of kinesthetic nature and would be processing the information so as to understand that process is transforming by taking part in the physical activity. Planning for the present cognitive inquiry method has allowed me to understand the entire process and help in identifying the fact that relating activities is very important for learning the present subject. Further relation and connection between the different questions for the focus question was important in order to develop the group learning process. Planning process helped me in gaining confidence so as to establish what the important factors are those would be helpful for the students to gain wider understanding of the subject. Further planning process involved in the present context also lays high emphasis on the amount of learning which can be developed through the present context. With help of the present study activity carried out in context to history question for aboriginal Australian I become a strong researcher knowing the different aspects pertaining to present questions. In addition to this I know suitable ways which can help students in developing good understanding of the present subject which pertains to the aboriginal Australian before colonization period.

In regard to the question selected for carrying out the cognitive inquiry sequence, need fulfillment for the aboriginal Australian people before colonization period was selected. This is an important and interesting area of research which demands exploring the lifestyle of people who were living in Australia before colonization period and way through which these people were meeting their life needs in terms of food, shelter and water. I was not having much prior knowledge on the chosen subject matter so I took this research like a big challenge to develop my subject knowledge along with imparting knowledge among the students for the particular subject.

The process of systematic cognitive inquiry sequence was followed in order to gain understanding for the particular area of research related with history of aboriginal Australian people wherein six step inquiry processes was followed. These six steps included in the cognitive inquiry sequence include get interested, find out, sort information, answer the question, make connections and evaluation etc. I explored the need fulfillment process adopted by aboriginal Australian people in context to the food, shelter, community and water for them. The inquiry in subject matter through innovative ways such as charts and tables were developed for the students in order to allow them making charts and make higher involvement in particular research question. Designing charts and tables in order to inquire need fulfillment process for the aboriginal Australian people helped me to understand the way through which teaching can be made interactive and students would be more interested in accomplishing their study by making charts and developing posters etc.

Overall this was learning and teaching experience wherein along with exploring the specific research question I also indulged myself into the development of innovative processes so as get higher involvement of the students. This helped in knowing ways through which students would be more interested in a particular subject and research question. This strengthened by research skill so as to get the deep information pertaining to the subject matter along with development of innovative ideas for developing tables and charts wherein a person can develop ways based on the suitability of teaching to the students regarding particular subject matter. Hence overall experience was good and I would look forward to have such experience again.



How aboriginal Australian people got food?  
How they developed communities?  
How they start hunting?  


Handout-2 Chart

Time period How they get food How they developed communities How they exchanged goods
Before colonization      
After colonization      


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