Australian Curriculum Review – Proposed Revisions for a Stronger Future of Reconciliation in Education
The Australian Curriculum is currently under review. It was last reviewed in 2014.
As a supporter of reconciliation in education we know you are already aware of how the integration of First Nations histories, cultures and perspectives in classrooms is critical to driving reconciliation forward.
A key part of the review is to strengthen the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority.
This cross-curriculum priority is relevant to all learning areas and year levels and seeks to:
• provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the ability to see themselves, their identities and cultures reflected in the curriculum; and
• allow all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.
Reconciliation Australia agrees with the review findings that First Nations Peoples’ calls for truth-telling needs to be better reflected in the curriculum across all years, with better respect for and inclusion of First Nations histories and cultures.
We believe the proposed curriculum changes are a positive step towards addressing these calls and ensuring school communities are able to engage with, and support, reconciliation.
HAVE YOUR SAY:
1. Read the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures consultation document
2. Complete the short Feedback Survey on the cross-curriculum priorities by Thursday 8 July 2021.
WHAT RECONCILIATION AUSTRALIA SAYS about ACARA's proposed changes:
• What has been improved:
- Respond to calls from First Nations peoples for truth-telling to be better reflected in the curriculum.
- Address calls for clarity from teachers to support them to teach confidently and respectfully.
- Demonstrate better respect for and inclusion of First Nations histories and cultures.
- Better represents contemporary First Nations Australian communities as strong, resilient, rich and diverse.
• What needs further improvement:
- Better ensure that teachers are aware of, and accountable to, the cross-curriculum priority.
- Explicit connections to the cross-curriculum priority should be made within content descriptions and elaborations across all year levels within all subject/learning areas.
- Stronger messaging, resourcing and illustrations of practice should be available for teachers that: are informed by anti-racism principles and practices; actively address teacher’s anxieties about being culturally inappropriate, insensitive or unsafe; and reflect age and stage appropriate truth-telling.
Register for a live webinar at 4pm (AEST) Tuesday 22 June with Joe Sambono and Fiona Hornung from ACARA to learn more and ask questions about the proposed changes to the cross-curriculum priority, and how these can support a stronger future of reconciliation in education.
You might also like to read the Joint Statement in Support of Progressing Reconciliation in Education.