Classroom accountabilities

A range of attitudes and perceptions around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, issues and perspectives is likely to arise during the process of embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the curriculum.

School staff may be confronted with their own, their students' and the community's negative attitudes, perceptions, ignorance, beliefs and stereotypes.

This experience may be challenging and might feel uncomfortable at times. Short-term discomfort, however, may mean that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the school or classroom may never again experience similar discomfort caused by behaviours resulting from inappropriate attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes.

Strategies

Consider these strategies for successfully embedding Indigenous perspectives in your school and classroom.

  • Understand and work with community protocols.
  • Understand the contexts of a diverse range of texts, for example, human, symbolic, media-based, written, audiovisual, visual, oral and personal experience.
  • Develop techniques for critical evaluation of texts that consider:
    • the author's perspective and background, whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous
    • appropriateness of terminology
    • authenticity, authority and ownership.
  • Challenge stereotypes and beliefs about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Acknowledge the impact that past and current government policies have played in shaping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies.
  • Understand the impact of colonisation. 
  • Recognise the influences of the media.

Classroom accountabilities guiding questions

  • What do I know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within this content area?
  • What attitudes and perceptions do I hold about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and this knowledge area?
  • What attitudes and perceptions do my learners and their families hold about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and this knowledge area? Where do these beliefs come from?
  • What do my learners know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within this content area?
  • What do my learners need to know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within this content area?
  • What strategies will I use to combat negative attitudes towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within this unit?
  • How will I make the classroom environment suitable for sharing personal attitudes and perceptions?
  • What attitudes and perceptions may staff have towards this unit or the knowledge learnt within this unit?

​Related information

The process of embedding perspectives into the curriculum may take time to work through with the school community. However, by using correct protocols as well as involving non-Indigenous community in all stages of the process, dealing with the range of attitudes and perceptions in sensitive ways has the potential to enhance educational outcomes for all students.

Last updated
10 September 2014