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Teacher resources for supporting National Reconciliation Week at schools and early childhood services

The 2022 National Reconciliation Week theme, Be Brave. Make Change, urges everyone to make change, beginning with brave actions in their daily lives.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs from 27 May to 3 June each year and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The theme for 2022, Be Brave. Make Change. is a challenge to all Australians— individuals, families, communities, organisations and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

Teaching learners from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds

Professional learning undertaken for teaching learners from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds should meet descriptors 1.4 and 2.4 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST), however it may meet other descriptor(s) of the APST depending on the type of professional learning undertaken.

Teachers should consider the modifications to the curriculum and/or practice they will need to make for Indigenous learners to access learning.

If they do not have an Indigenous learner in their learning environment, teachers can

  • observe an experienced teacher’s practice and/or approach to an Indigenous learner and base their demonstration of descriptor 1.4 on another student in the school, or
  • hypothetically include an Indigenous learner to demonstrate the standard.

Then they will need to ask themselves

  • What would I do if I had this learner in my group?

How would I design and implement effective teaching strategies that are responsive to the local community and cultural setting, linguistic background and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners?

Teaching Learners From Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Backgrounds

Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners webinars

The Victorian Institute of Teaching is proud to partner with the Department of Education Koorie Outcomes Division and the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. to deliver a pedagogically focused seminar designed to equip teachers to better understand the strategies that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners in our classrooms.

These webinars will be presented by Mathew Lillyst (Koorie Outcomes Division of the Department of Education and Training) and will

  • provide the necessary background information that all teachers need to be aware of when creating a truly inclusive and safe classroom environment
  • establish the linguistic and cultural elements of Koorie English as a dialect and then provide an interactive forum for teachers to discuss the pedagogical, social and academic benefits that will come from incorporating this knowledge into the learning environment
  • recognise language and culture as inextricably linked so teachers can provide a pedagogy that will support academic development, at the same time as supporting identity and wellbeing for learners.

The pedagogy discussed will be universally applicable and provide benefit to all learners, regardless of their background, and the teaching strategies that work for Koorie English speakers can be applied for all learners. This seminar will equip teachers with not only some strategies, but the understanding as to why Koorie English is important to allow all their learners to thrive.

For the latest dates and to book click here.

*Attending this webinar and reflecting on how you could apply the content in your teaching context can count as part of your professional learning requirements for renewal of registration.
 
Video

Click here to see some videos about professional learning for teaching learners from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Participate in the Aboriginal Self-Determination in Education consultation

The Department of Education and Training (DET) is bringing Koorie communities, young people and schools together to listen, share and connect about self-determination for Koorie people in education

To strengthen self-determination for Koorie people, these conversations will ensure DET and schools commit to the following

  • welcoming, valuing and celebrating Koorie culture in schools
  • acknowledging past wrongs and establishing spaces for healing
  • transforming school spaces, which have historically been exclusionary for Koorie people
  • empowering partnerships between Koorie people and schools.

The community is invited to share their feedback to shape opportunities for change in the education system in 2023. The reforms will

  • benefit all learners
  • build and strengthen relationships between schools and Koorie communities
  • improve the engagement, attendance and achievement of Koorie learners.

Consultation closes on 24 June 2022. To participate, submit your feedback on the Engage Victoria website

For more information or to learn more about the project, contact the Self-Determination in Education Reform team at Marrung@education.vic.gov.au.

Events

Every year workplaces, schools, early learning services, community groups, reconciliation groups, and people right across the country host a whole range of events.

Search for event ideas for your school / early childhood service or create your own event and add it to the National Reconciliation Week website.

Posters and Resources

There are numerous ways to get schools involved in learning more about reconciliation. The Narragunnawali website and Learn our Truth campaign shares teaching and learning ideas for early childhood, primary and secondary school students and also professional learning courses for teachers.

Remember, these are just a few ideas, feel free to explore other resources and modify them for your learners and context