Gems and nuggets

Gems and nuggets

Multicultural education for young children

Anita Accendere

Bayleigh Mantell

Cathy Cody

Claudia Aston

Deirdre Byrne

Stefanie Kennedy

Shauna Hart

Delena Kendall

Sarah Kallman

Lauren Matthews

Rebecca Dooley

Natalie Loosemore

Jacynta Hunt

Indiah Sinclair

Megan Higgs

Georgia Butler

Selena Dyer

University of Southern Queensland

Gems and nuggets

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Gems and nuggets by Anita Accendere, Bayleigh Mantell, Cathy Cody, Claudia Aston, Deirdre Byrne, Stefanie Kennedy, Shauna Hart, Delena Kendall, Sarah Kallman, Lauren Matthews, Rebecca Dooley, Natalie Loosemore, Jacynta Hunt, Indiah Sinclair, Megan Higgs, Georgia Butler, and Selena Dyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Acknowledgements

1

We acknowledge the First Nations peoples of the countries where USQ campuses are located: the Giabal and Jarowair peoples of the Toowoomba area, the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul peoples of Ipswich and Springfield, the Kambuwal peoples of Stanthorpe and the Gadigal peoples of the Eora nation, Sydney. We also acknowledge the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia and pay respect to First Nations Elders past, present and emerging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USQ logo and statement

Special thanks to Mr Adrian Stagg and Miss Nikki Andersen
and members of the Open Educational Practice community for their invaluable support.

Cover image by Atul Vinayak from unsplash.com.

Introduction

2

Early childhood educators understand the importance of respecting, valuing and celebrating Reconciliation and Intercultural Education. The problem is How do we actually and specifically do this in our particular contexts? How can our pedagogy reflect this?

Gems and Nuggets arose from the above concerns (more specifically highlighted throughout this book) put forward by early childhood educators who attended a professional development workshop on the topics of Reconciliation and Intercultural Education at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in November, 2019. To answer the educators’ concerns pre-service Educators from USQ researched the topics of Reconciliation and Intercultural Education in Australia (particularly in Queensland). These students had been studying Intercultural Communication in Early Learning Contexts as part of their education degree and were inspired by the educators’ concerns and well equipped to undertake research to address their questions.

This book is divided into two parts. Part 1: Reconciliation offers pedagogical strategies to support Reconciliation in the early childhood classroom and provides links to resources that will offer specific information on Reconciliation in Australia. Part 2: Intercultural Education suggests pedagogical strategies to support intercultural and multicultural education in the early childhood classroom and includes links to resources that also offer information on the topics. Each chapter highlights the importance of respecting, valuing and celebrating cultural diversity for the Culturally Competent Educator.

Resulting from the educators’ concerns, the pre-service educators’ research offers gems of wisdom and gold nuggets of explicit resources to support and promote Reconciliation and Intercultural Education in the early childhood context. We hope that this book inspires you!

Responding to early years educators' concerns

3

For their first assignment in the course Intercultural communication in early learning contexts, students were required to respond to educators’ concerns related to Reconciliation and intercultural education (see Appendix for the assignment instructions). In the table below, the left column presents the concerns as expressed by the educators, and the right column directs you to the resources that our students created. We hope that this provides educators with a quick and handy resource for teaching, and it might also stimulate professional conversations about how we can become more culturally aware, culturally responsive and culturally active.

CONCERNS RELATED TO RECONCILIATION

CHAPTERS

I really want exposure and access to Indigenous cultural resources. Where can I source local knowledge and stories that are meaningful and within a context that my local Indigenous children understand? Sourcing local knowledge

Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives

Forming connections

Indigenous Culture Resources for Teachers

Local knowledge and stories

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland? Aboriginal languages

Creating a shared cultural history

Community connections

Connecting with local elders in the Mareeba community

Connecting with elders

I wish we had more opportunities to make connections, formally and informally. There are email groups but there’s no real sense of the person. A personal approach is more effective because conversations, sharing, knowing someone personally makes meaning. How can we create more opportunities to make community connections for Reconciliation? Professional connections for Reconciliation

Connecting with community elders

First steps to community knowledge

We’re mostly white educators at our service and we’re not sure; how much are we allowed to share of Indigenous culture? Are there any guidelines? Acknowledgement of country

Professional learning with podcasts

From an operational level, we need time to connect. From a managerial level, we have to have the ability to replace staff so they can attend professional development. Do you have any ideas for how early years education and care services can create opportunities for their staff to learn more about Reconciliation? Learning more about Reconciliation
Our regulatory body is very black and white. They don’t always have the time to be creative. This is why we need people to step in and be creative. Our children know technology, they’re very savvy with it, so can we put some cultural stuff into that?
Acknowledging country

CONCERNS RELATED TO MULTICULTURAL OR INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION

CHAPTERS

We’re having to find out own resources and the best one we found was through the Department of Health! These resources are like little diamonds. But they’re not readily accessible. How can educators access these if they don’t know that they’re there? Can you help us with similar shareable resources for multicultural early years education? Shareable resources

Creating a bank of resources

Multicultural resources for early years education

At the least, I need words in different languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great! Communicating with simple phrases (German and Vietnamese)

Common words and phrases in community languages (Gujarati, Hindi, Mlayam, Tamil, Vietnamese, Mandarin)

Language cards (Jarowair and Jagera)

Vietnamese toileting procedure

Vietnamese phrases

Vietnamese phrases to use with children

Toileting phrases in Vietnamese

Calming phrases in German

Consoling and meeting children’s needs  (Vietnamese and Gamilaraay)

I wish there was a community of practice where you could talk to other educators who are experiencing similar challenges. The fact is, we’re time-poor, dispersed, and in many cases, we’re each other’s competition. To bridge that gap and focus on some of our big issues will be how we have our impact. Given the challenges in our sector, how can we create communities of practice for early years educators interested in multicultural education? Building professional connections: Cooktown

Professional learning communities

The department’s guidelines for school lunches are all in English. I tell parents “Sandwiches aren’t your only option. You can take fried rice to school. Children can eat it cold. I know you’d prefer they eat it hot, but it’s better for them to have familiar food that they like rather than something they don’t usually eat”. Can you make some guidelines to help parents with culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches? School lunches

Guidelines for healthy lunches in Japanese

When we put in a request into the DOE we were instructed to translate our own documents from the Early Years Learning Framework all the way down, including legislation. They were like, ‘that’s your problem’. It’s frustrating. We’d love to have resources that translate aspects of key guiding documents for our educators and families. Tagalog translation of the Early Years Learning Framework

1. Reconciliation resources

I

 

 

Sourcing local knowledge

1

Cathy Cody

I really want exposure and access to Indigenous cultural resources. Where can I source local knowledge and stories that are meaningful and within a context that my local Indigenous children understand?

Rationale

Sourcing Local Knowledge is a digital information sheet. Designed for educators, this resource provides foundational advice and direction on how and where to source local Indigenous peoples, knowledge and stories as relevant to one’s local community through internet searches, government websites and books. This resource is specific to Gubbi Gubbi country (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2019). Through internet searches and websites suggested in the resource, an educator can find relevant information to local Indigenous representative. For example, this resource identifies Lyndon Davis from Gubbi Gubbi country, who can help bring local cultural awareness to educational settings through dance, music and other Indigenous cultural practices (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership, 2017). With Reconciliation (Reconciliation Australia, 2017b) at the forefront in creating this resource, meaningful connections to land, people and ancestry can be obtained through books identified on the resource. An educator can draw information from these books as a means to gain personal knowledge and understandings of local Indigenous culture, or the suggested children’s picture book Gubbi Gubbi Animal Friends (Stuart & Clark, 2013) in which Gubbi Gubbi language is applied. Williams (2018) brings to light cultural and linguistic differences between peoples, therefore it is essential for an educator to be conscious of local languages when introducing Indigenous dialogue into the learning environment.

Information obtained from these sites and books can be adapted and brought into the educational setting to create connections, help students to learn in new ways and understand the people’s unique attachment to land through carefully planned learning experiences (Holmes, 2018). Experiences include excursions to local Indigenous sites or the Island of Reconciliation Noosa Museum, play spaces with musical instruments, posters of local animals such as the Dala (a sacred fish to the Gubbi Gubbi people found only in the local river ways (Marohasy, 2006), and more as outlined in Gubbi Gubbi: Traditional Custodians from the Dawn of Time (Cresswell, n.d). As an educator becomes familiar with local Indigenous knowledge, one can transfer this newly gained insight into the classroom for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children, as a means to form strong connections within one’s local community. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) (2009) assert that connecting children to culture and their own identity is shaped by experiences and respect. An essential element in the EYLF (DEEWR, 2018) and basis of learning outcome two, is ‘connections between groups and community’, as this promotes belonging, being and becoming. With a commitment to closing the numerous socioeconomic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, educators have a critical role in providing learning opportunities to embrace and implement cultural connections and belonging within one’s curriculum (DEEWR, 2009) which is abundant in this resource.

Aboriginal languages

2

Bayleigh Mantell

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland?

Accessing Aboriginal Languages

To access the indigenous people in your area, check out this website provided below.

http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/ilq/2015/03/16/aboriginal-languages-of-the-greater-brisbane-area/

This is a great resource as it provides information of what Aboriginal languages are used throughout the greater Brisbane area.

  Ipswich & West Moreton

  • Jagara – also written as Yagara
  • Yugarabul – also written as Yuggarabul
  • Yuggera – also written as Jagara

Rationale

The above resource that has been created to address the need for resources for Reconciliation. The intent of the resource is to provide educators with a base point to begin incorporating culture awareness and understanding into their daily practices. This resource does this by allowing educators to identify the local Aboriginal group who are the Indigenous people of the land where their service is located, giving educators a stepping stone to begin to ensure they are seeking out the correct information before they begin to educate the children in their care, and before commencing further research for themselves.

To understand and make connections with the local Indigenous people, we need to know who they are. The resource provides this information. Through the socio-cultural/interactionist theory (Vygotsky, 1978), I have come to realise that language is a huge part of culture, and to be culturally competent educators it is integral that we ensure we are making everyone feel comfortable, secure and supported within their learning environment. This means getting to know the families of the children in our care, learning about their culture, so that we can ensure that we provide as many opportunities for their culture to be embedded into the curriculum.

As outlined in the Early Years Learning Framework (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009), children are connected with and contribute to their world. Implementing different cultural groups into the daily practices of Early Childhood education and care services, will help young children learn respect for diversity while deepening their knowledge of other cultures, especially of Australian Indigenous peoples

 

 

Professional connections for Reconciliation

3

Anita Accendere

I wish we had more opportunities to make connections, formally and informally. There are email groups but there’s no real sense of the person. A personal approach is more effective because conversations, sharing, knowing someone personally makes meaning. How can we create more opportunities to make community connections for Reconciliation?

 

What is Reconciliation? Video Source: What is Reconciliation? (Hobbs, 2018).

Our Early Learning Centre, highly believes that it is critical for all Australians despite their cultural backgrounds to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (Reconciliation Australia, 2017a). Within our centre and early years curriculum we are working towards providing all students with supportive learning environments so all Australians can be taught about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions (Reconciliation, Australia, 2017a).

What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?

Reconciliation Action Plans (Reconciliation Australia, 2017a)
Embedding Culture in Practice for Kindergarten Teaching and Learning (Queensland Department of Education, 2016).

 

Importance of Reconciliation

Reconciliation is about increasing relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, that benefits all Australian’s (Reconciliation Australia, 2017c). Therefore, the RAP framework aligns with the definition of reconciliation as the framework develops relationships, values and respects opportunities in the classroom, and within the school and outside of the school community (Narragunnawali, n.d.a). The following is an example of how relationships can be supported in the classroom (Narragunnawali, n.d.a).

One way to enhance relationships within the classroom is to invite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to teach students and teachers about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. This following video is a great way to share with non-Indigenous educators to view how Aboriginal early childhood educators embed culture in practice their kindergarten setting that enhances children’s teaching and learning regarding cultural knowledge (Queensland Department of Education, 2016). Furthermore, non-Indigenous teachers can invite Aboriginal people into the classroom to teach learning activities similar to the video such as Aboriginal stories, fishing, camping and Aboriginal languages which is often led by Aboriginal people (Narragunnawali, n.d.c; Queensland Department of Education, 2016)

Rationale

This resource will introduce how any early childhood setting can incorporate Reconciliation through everyday learning (Duncan, 2019 as cited in The Spoke: Early Childhood Australia, [ECA], 2019). Firstly, teachers and educators need to value and invest in Reconciliation using a personal approach that lays the foundation of any early childhood setting to better connect and understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being (Duncan, 2019 as cited in The Spoke: ECA, 2019).

Teachers need to personally build relationships, respect and build trust between the Australian general public and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Reconciliation Australia, 2017). This resource will further explain what role teachers, educators, parents, students and the education sector and the role they will need to play to achieve a reconciled, just and equitable Australian future (Reconciliation Australia, 2017). A majority of all Australians including those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and non-Indigenous cultures strongly believe that it is important for teachers, educators, families, students and the education sector to value and learn about the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (Reconciliation Australia, 2017). However, many Australians say they have very limited knowledge about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (Reconciliation Australia, 2017) as evident in the video above where educators and staff interviewed parents, teachers, educators and students by asking them “What does reconciliation mean to them?” (Hobbs, 2018).

 

Staff Engagement With RAP

One of the concerns within in our Early Learning Centre is that there is no current Reconciliation Rap Plan [RAP} program (Narragunnawali, n.d.a). This is evident in regard to the statement from a staff educator who stated, “I wish we had more opportunities to make connections, formally and informally, rather than our current option which is via virtual online email groups”. A RAP is a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation, that early learning settings can develop (Narragunnawali, n.d.a). When early learning settings develop their RAP, they must establish a RAP Working Group which involves a diverse range of members that includes teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, students and local community members (Narragunnawali, n.d.). In order to embed a Commitment to the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), all staff are accountable for developing and implementing the RAP framework to ensure the plan is suitable to achieve meaningful and sustainable outcomes (Narragunnawali, n.d.b).

There are four stages that all staff can be involved in which include a RAP Working Group, Reflection Survey, Vision for Reconciliation and RAP Actions (Narragunnawali, n.d.b). Once the key four stages above are completed, RAPs are submitted to the Director within an early childhood setting who then forwards the RAP to Reconciliation Australia (Narragunnawali, n.d.b). Reconciliation Australia reviews the early childhood setting RAPs Vision for Reconiliation and Acknowledgement of Country statements prior to publication (Narragunnawali, n.d.a).

Secondly, another concern within our Early Learning Centre is that a staff member stated, “A personal approach is more effective because of conversations, sharing, knowing someone personally makes meaning”.

One of the major aims of the RAP is that it facilitates professional learning which occurs on a regular basis through professional learning sessions such as staff meetings (Narragunnawali), A RAP has ideas for action, there are forty RAP Actions to select from, however, fourteen must be selected as a minimum requirement (Narragunnawali, n.d.a). Each RAP Action comes with background knowledge, activities and resources that can be used by the RAP Working Group, that facilities professional learning (Narragunnawali, n.d.b).

Links to the Educators’ Guide and the Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF]

 

Connecting with community elders

4

Claudia Aston

I wish we had more opportunities to make connections, formally and informally. There are email groups but there’s no real sense of the person. A personal approach is more effective because conversations, sharing, knowing someone personally makes meaning. How can we create more opportunities to make community connections for Reconciliation?

Connecting with a Local Elder of Laidley

imageAunty Liz is a local Elder to the land of Laidley and identifies as belonging to the Yuggera country (personal communication, Dec 2019). Her great grandmother Annie Simpson on her mother’s side, originated from Ipswich and belongings to the Yuggera peoples (State Library of Queensland, 2019). Liz engages in cultural traditions as she grew up connecting to the land. She engaged in practices such as killing her chickens to feed her family sewing kangaroo skins together to make a blanket. Aunty Liz has a strong connection to her family, with the belief that family means being “as one.”

Liz is actively is involved in the Kambu health – Family wellbeing centre that supports health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the local community. The service is supported by the state electorate of Lockyer and the federal electorate of Write. At the centre she attends community group meetings and actively engages in building positive community connections. She shares her Aboriginal knowledge through visiting local childcare centres such as Free-Range Kids, Laidley 1. She engages children in the Early Years by sharing cultural knowledge and initiates cultural learning experiences such as shared reading stories. Aunty Liz is enthusiastic about developing cultural awareness in her local community. In advocating for the Reconciliation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, she believes it is important for children to explore their natural environment and develop a connection to the land. She advocates for children to develop an understanding of native Australian animals.

Aunty Liz is passionate about developing cultural awareness. She is open to sharing her knowledge and understandings of histories and cultures through contacting her on her personal phone number. She has identified a preferred communication strategy of text messages. Aunty Liz is able to bring questions to her local community groups or to peoples who she has developed a strong connection with in her community.

Image: Personal photo

Rationale

The professional learning resource Connecting with Local Elder of Laidley was created to strengthen connections with the local community elders. The resource provides community access to a local elder in Laidley region or known as the Aboriginal Yuggera country (The State of Queensland (State Library of Queensland), 2019). The resource provides a description of Aunty Liz’s history and culture, as well as her preferred contact details. She believes that it is important for children in the early years to build a connection to the land through exploring their natural environment and connection to family (personal communication, Dec 2019). The resource is used by connecting her preferred communication strategy of contacting via text messages.
The professional learning resources one addresses the concern of access to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Elders in the local community. A recount on a local Elders’ culture and history as well as contact information is provided. Connecting with Local Elder of Laidley provides access to develop stronger relationships based on trust and respect and that are free of racism (Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority, 2018). Relationships can influence a child’s developing sense of self (Kim & Lee, 2011). A reconciled Australia is where our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all places that matter (Reconciliation Australia, 2017). Therefore, it important for educators and all Australians understand as well as value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous cultures, rights and experiences (Reconciliation Australia, 2017).
The Early Years Learning Framework is underpinned by the principle of Respect for Diversity. It is the educator’s role to promote greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009, p. 14). The United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child highlights that “you have the right to practice your own culture, language and religion (United nations General Assembly, 1989). Goal one of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians advocates for Australian schooling to promote equity and excellence. The goal promotes working in partnerships with local communities on all aspects of the schooling process (Ministerial Council on Education Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008, p. 7).

Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives

5

Jacynta Hunt

I really want exposure and access to Indigenous cultural resources. Where can I source local knowledge and stories that are actually meaningful and within a context that my local Indigenous children understand?

Rationale

To address the educators’ concerns relating to accessing local Indigenous knowledge and cultural resources, the document ‘Embedding Indigenous Perspectives’ (above) was created. It could be presented in a staff meeting, as professional development or in educator employment packages to introduce educators to the expectation that Indigenous perspectives should be integrated in planning and to aid them doing so in a meaningful and contextualised way by utilising the local contacts provided. The resource presents synopses of some local Indigenous sources, Traditional Owners and Elders who could provide educators with relevant and localised stories and culture.
Engaging Indigenous children and their families in all aspects of school is identified as key to holding high expectations and improving educational outcomes (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008). Respect for diversity is recognized as a principle of the Early Years Learning Framework and means that educators value the histories, stories, traditions and practices of children’s families (DEEWR, 2009). Reflecting these within the curriculum fosters motivation to learn and each child’s self-esteem and identity (DEEWR, 2009); however, many teachers feel they lack sufficient understanding of Indigenous cultures to teach it without risk of offense and therefore either do not teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, or do so in a superficial manner (Booth, 2014).
By directly contacting Cooktown local experts, students benefit from authentic lived experiences, stereotypes can be discredited and educators are offered better understanding of culturally appropriate protocols (Cooper, He & Levin, 2011). Bronfenbrenner’s (1981) ecological theory poses that the systems that a child exists in (such as home, school, community) are interconnected and symbiotic in their influence. Furthermore, Owens & Wang (1996, cited in Cooper, He & Levin, 2011 p. 140) state that “intelligence and expertise are built out of interaction with the environment, not in isolation from it”; as such, educators should continuously strive to build their knowledge of Indigenous cultures through respectful and authentic relationships with families and the local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community (University of Southern Queensland, 2019a). The resource provides teachers with a starting point in building these relationships specifically with the Gungardie (Cooktown) people, the Guugu Yimithirr and websites that can be used present the bama’s (Aboriginal people) perspective.

Acknowledgement of country

6

Georgia Butler

We’re mostly white educators at our service and we’re not sure; how much are we allowed to share of Indigenous culture? Are there any guidelines?

My Acknowledgement of Country Activity

Organisation for the activity is group time on a large mat area with the educator or teacher writing responses on a whiteboard in front of children.

This activity begins with inquiry questions:
• What is an Acknowledgement of Country?
• What is the purpose of an Acknowledgement to Country?
• How does an Acknowledgement of Country differ from a Welcome to Country?
• How is an Acknowledgement of Country an act of reconciliation?
• How can I include my own thoughts in an Acknowledgement of Country?

An Acknowledgement of Country is different from a Welcome to Country, which is a formal welcome onto land and can only be delivered by Traditional Owners or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners to welcome visitors to their Country.

An ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ is a way of showing respect for the Traditional Owners and can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are connected to another place. An Acknowledgement of Country should include a reference to the Traditional Owners/Custodians of the area and a statement of respect for Elders past, present and future, (Reconcilliation Australia, n.d.a).

Children should be encouraged to think about what it means to them to acknowledge country. Ask for answers and write these on whiteboard, along with inquiry answers. Present and distribute hand cut outs and ask students to put what words from the board that they think should be included in an acknowledgement onto each finger. Depending on writing ability, educators and teachers may need to assist with this.

This activity can be extended to involving use of ICT’S to allow research for children and educators or teachers into the local Traditional Owners/Custodians of the area, what is significant about the local environment, significant sites close to the area and how does the local community acknowledge country.

Hand with the words my acknowledgment of country written on palm
Adapted from Cy21 Left hand https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hand_left.svg used under CC-BY-SA

Rationale

This group inquiry activity is aimed at early years and primary students to help them and teachers gain an understanding of why we do Acknowledgements to Country and the difference between this and a Welcome to Country. It also allows children to develop their own unique and meaningful Acknowledgement of Country that they can use on an ongoing basis.

Acknowledging Country has become common practice at the start of events such as school assemblies, meetings, and presentations. Sometimes we forget about the significance of the act of acknowledging Country (Reconciliation Australia, n.d.a). The basis of this activity was sourced from a website by Reconciliation Australia called ‘Narragunnawali’. It is a school and early learning service resource that helps teachers and educators develop environments that foster a high level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.

This activity is an appropriate response to the educator concern as it details what is appropriate for educators to share with children and what is only reserved for Indigenous peoples. The learnings from this activity include that children recognise and respect the continuing connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country, they understand the difference between an Acknowledgement of Country and a Welcome to Country and understand the significance of Acknowledging Country. This activity also aligns with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) strategies for ‘Welcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in kindergarten’ (2018) as it allows children to foster a greater sense of belonging to the service and sharing their culture with others.

This activity uses a strengths-based approach to Indigenous cultural education as it acknowledges and honours cultural identity and diversity by incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander standpoints into the curriculum. Therefore, this then recognises the skills and expertise that exist in the community to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and makes the setting/school culturally safe and welcoming for parents, carers and community members. It also supports teachers in gaining a better understanding of the cultural knowledge that students bring to early learning settings, (ACER, 2010).

This activity links to The Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009), through its respect for diversity principle, cultural competence practice and Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity –  Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities and Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world – Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation and Children respond to diversity with respect.

It also links to the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (QCAA, 2018), through its Learning and Development areas of Identity – Key focus: Building a confident self-identity and Connectedness – Key Focus: Showing respect for diversity.

 

Creating a shared cultural history

7

Deirdre Byrne

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland?

Rationale

The Papunya School Book of Country and History is a unique book that shares the history of the formation of the Papunya community. This book can be used as an inspiration to early childhood centres and schools to promote reconciliation through a creation of a similar shared cultural history. When used as a holistic learning experience, the collection of activities and shared histories can transform the thinking of educators, students and families about Indigenous and western cultures (de Vere & Wheatley, n.d.). There are also opportunities for modifiable, standalone projects within this activity that are listed in the resource.

This activity fosters strong relationships with the local Indigenous community founded on respect for, valuing of and understanding of culture, and ways of knowing and being (Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority, 2018a). Through inviting Elders into the learning space via the creative process, educators are able to embed indigenous culture into the learning environment and in turn, develop stronger relationships with all families and community members (Department of Education [DET], 2011). When accessing Indigenous materials, it is essential that this is done in a culturally respectful way and that cultural protocols are adhered to (DET, 2011). The activities listed assist educators and families to share the responsibility for understanding culture through embracing a shared legacy (Atkinson, 2016) and to assist in the reconciliation process (Reconciliation Australia, 2019a). Culture is central to our sense of identity and plays a part in the feelings of “being” and ‘becoming’ that is a cornerstone of the Early Years Learning Framework. By creating a visible, shared cultural history, we create a welcoming learning environment and positive sense of identity for all families, children and staff (DEEWR, 2009).

Links to the ELYF
Outcome 1. Children have a strong sense of identity; Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities
Outcome 2. Children are connected with and contribute to their world; Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities, Children respond to diversity with respect
Outcome 3. Children have a strong sense of wellbeing; Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing
Outcome 4. Children are confident and involved learners; Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials
Outcome 5. Children are effective communicators. Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts

National Quality Standards
Standard 6.1    Supportive relationships with families: Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role.
Element 6.1.2  Parent views are respected – The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected, and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.
Standard 6.2    Collaborative partnerships – Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.

Community connections

8

Rebecca Dooley

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland?

Gummingurru

The Gummingurru is a sacred site of the Jarowair Aboriginal people – which are among many different Aboriginal groups connected to the Bunya Mountains – located on the outskirts of Toowoomba, Queensland (“Gummingurru: Site History”, 2012). Before the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal peoples met at Gummingurru every three years for male initiation ceremonies and this practice continued into the late 19th century when the Jarowair people were removed from the area and sent to live on missions and reserves.

The Gummingurru site is currently in the care of traditional custodians called the Gummingurru Aboriginal Corporation (GAC). Whilst there are many different activities and learning opportunities to participate in at Gummingurru, one of the most important in this case is going on a tour around the site with a member from the GAC – a traditional custodian – which is a very important reconciliation activity in order to gain valuable knowledge about the history and heritage of the Jarowair Aboriginal People.

Rationale

Depending on location it may be difficult to find a site or community allowing people to visit or be involved in the learnings of Indigenous history and cultures. For early years educators in the area who are ‘struggling to make connections with the local community elders’ the Gummingurru site has been approved by the Jarowair custodians to be open and available to anyone and everyone interested in learning about Aboriginal culture and heritage. This would be a great place for schools and teachers to undergo professional development and training and for students to be brought along on an excursion to learn about the history and culture of Indigenous elders within the local community.

Being engaged in learning about Gummingurru and its history has clear links to the Early Years Learning Framework, outcome 2 ‘children are connected with and contribute to their world’. When children participate in the learning activities created by the people at the Gummingurru site – 2.1 – ‘children will start to develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an emerging understanding of reciprocal rights and responsibilities’, 2.2 ‘Children respond to diversity with respect’ and 2.3 ‘become aware of fairness’ (DEEWR, 2009).

Connecting with local elders in the Mareeba community

9

Selena Dyer

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland?

Rationale

This resource has been designed to address the needs of educators wanting to make connections with Local Indigenous elders of Mareeba, to support Reconciliation within the school community.

The resource outlines specific contact points for initiating collaborative relationships and would be presented to staff at start of year inductions or as professional development. These acknowledged representatives would be invited along to contribute to the presentation and introduce themselves to staff. The resources would be digitally shared with educators for reference and updated as required.

This resource is particularly appropriate to addressing this need as it is specific to the local Indigenous community, the Muluridji People. This is paramount as Australian Indigenous cultures are not homogenous but represent hundreds of cultures and histories, which are unique to each geographical location (Perso & Hayward, 2015) therefore this presentation is tailored to the particular needs of the Mareeba community. Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Australia (n.d.) calls our attention to the understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and Traditional Owners are the only custodians and owners of the knowledge and cultures of the Country and land our school and educational services are located. The resource reflects this understanding while aligning with the Early Years Learning Framework’s (DEEWR, 2009) view that a child’s development of identity occurs within the context of their families and community.  Similarly, the socio-cultural theory of Vygotsky (Dolya, 2009) attributes knowledge construction to active meaning-making through interactions with the social world, by internalization of culture and social relationships. By accessing the knowledge and contributions of those identified through the resource, students will experience a validation of their culture, and their identity which promotes excellence in learning through interconnection of the individual student and the community. The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority, 2018b) also has a strong focus on building inclusive partnerships and encourages teachers to follow cultural protocols to build connections with Indigenous communities.  The resource supports teachers in this by providing background information and providing guidance to ensure communication is genuine, respectful and culturally appropriate.

Professional learning with podcasts

10

Shauna Hart

We’re mostly white educators at our service and we’re not sure; how much are we allowed to share of Indigenous culture? Are there any guidelines?

Podcast: #104 Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives (with Jessica Staines)

https://www.earlyeducationshow.com/episodes/episode104

“The Early Education Show”

with early childhood professionals and advocates Lisa Bryant, Leanne Gibbs and Liam McNicholas

 “Educators have a huge fear of the three words- stereotypical, offensive and tokenistic.  They are really scared of doing the wrong thing and offending someone” (Staines in Bryant et al., 2019).

The hosts of this podcast engage in an important discussion with Jessica Staines, a Wiradjuri woman, Early Childhood Teacher and creator of the Aboriginal early childhood consultancy group, Koori Curriculum. They delve into discussions about the importance of educators engaging with, and the barriers educators feel when establishing Indigenous perspectives within their services.  Jessica presents valuable ways educators can start to implement cultures and histories, providing a variety of resources and programs to assist educators.

Further Links mentioned in the podcast:

Koori Curriculum: https://kooricurriculum.com/. Offers professional development workshops

Koori Curriculum Educator Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1556220701054644/. Offers an online community where educators can ask questions and share ideas of the Aboriginal culture.

Reconciliation Australia: https://www.reconciliation.org.au/  Provide steps early educators need to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), see strengths and identify where they need to start

Narragunnawali: https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/ Provides an online platform for professional learning and curriculum documents to assist educators to develop environments to provide higher levels of knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

Aboriginal Early Childhood Collective:  https://aboriginalecc.com/ Provides professional development training and resources for embedded Aboriginal culture in early childhood education

NAIDOC: https://www.naidoc.org.au/ Resource for educators to source events happening in the local community, and to begin to connect with local Aboriginal community.

Download file: Hart Indigenous resource

Instructions

The digital resource includes a link to an informative podcast from early childhood experts who interview Jessica, an Aboriginal Early Childhood Teacher and creator of the Koori Curriculum website. During the podcast, the panel discuss issues of addressing and including Indigenous culture in early childhood settings, as well as providing a variety of sources educators can use to grow knowledge of Indigenous culture. The digital resource provides links to websites mentioned in the podcast for educators to access.

Educators can listen to and partake in reflective conversations about the podcast during staff meetings or planning time and access the links to build on their knowledge to confidently include Indigenous culture into their settings. During the podcast, educators can pause and have discussions about comments made by the panel and take notes about interesting and informative facts.

Rationale

This podcast is appropriate to address the educators concern as it provides information from a credible source, an Indigenous educator, about how to start embedding Indigenous culture into their settings.  It is important to foster children’s cultural identity through embedding appropriate resources, experiences and discussions, and this podcast provides educators with a variety of online resources to build on their knowledge towards Indigenous cultures and histories (Mason-White, 2012; USQ, 2019). It is promotive of the practical side of Reconciliation as educators are actively researching and implementing appropriate Indigenous histories and cultures within their services (USQ, 2019d).

Links

National Quality Standards (NQS) (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority [ACECQA], 2020c):

Queensland Kindergarten Guidelines (QKLG) (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority [QCAA], 2018b):

Learning more about Reconciliation

11

Megan Higgs

From an operational level, we need time to connect. From a managerial level, we have to have the ability to replace staff so they can attend professional development. Do you have any ideas for how early years education and care services can create opportunities for their staff to learn more about Reconciliation?

Instructions

This resource is for educators to build or start their journey about Reconciliation and use tools such as the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009) and the 8 ways Aboriginal pedagogy framework that is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies (Yunkaporta, 2012). These pedagogies involve narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community that are used to teach children. There are on-line webinars that support educators on a professional level. There are also a few examples of how educators can start and continue the connections, not only between themselves but with others. For example, there are many web sites and YouTube videos. In addition, Narragunnawali Reconciliation offers Professional Development opportunities online and curriculum resources to help with planning and practices with children. They also have newsletters that have current information about events or topics that would be useful in one’s Reconciliation journey.

Rationale

The resource supports educators to have the opportunity to learn about reconciliation by using a variety of tools, such as videos, web sites or through undertaking professional development through on-line webinars. It is suited for individuals or a whole service to assist their journey. Reconciliation involves all educators, children and families along with communities working together, making connections and building partnerships of understanding. The program from Narragunnawali supports early learning settings in developing environments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories, cultures and contributions. (Early Childhood Australia, 2018). Narragunnawali highlights how educators might embed a commitment to reconciliation within their practice. By having these tools, educators can understand the purpose and meaning of Reconciliation, which is about building and maintaining a relationship of trust, unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community. (Early Childhood Australia, 2018). Educators can choose their own path of their journey through own personal and professional growth and their own reflections or through conversation with families and the community either way, starting a reconciliation journey is accepting the past injustices; promoting respecting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, languages, cultures and heritage; and actively working to ensure justice and equity for all Australians (Early Childhood Australia, 2018).

This program can be used at any time allowing maximum flexibility for managers and educators alike. It can also be used with groups of people, for example, in staff meetings where everyone can participate in reflecting on their reconciliation journey.

Links

The resource documents align with the National Quality Standards: Quality Area 6- Collaboration partnership with families.
The relationships to the EYLF learning outcomes and the Queensland Kindergarten Guidelines are – Early Years Framework: Outcome 1- Children have a strong sense of Identity and Outcome 2- Children are connected with and contribute to their world and QKLG – Identity and Connectedness.

Forming connections

12

Sarah Kallman

I really want exposure and access to Indigenous cultural resources. Where can I source local knowledge and stories that are actually meaningful and within a context that my local Indigenous children understand?

The practical guide to forming connections with the Aboriginal community (in Highfields).

Learn

  • Learn about the traditional owners of the land you live on. Toowoomba is located on the intersection of three separate groups: the Jagera, Giabal and Jarowair people. “The Jagara people were of the foothills and escarpment, Giabal were of the Toowoomba area and the Jarowair were of the northern areas towards and including the Bunya Mountains” (Toowoomba Regional Council, 2019). Highfields is located on Jarowair country, but we pay respect to all people groups within our area.
  • Find out what country/people group your children and families may have links to if they are living off country.
  • Before you venture out it’s a good idea to look at your own cultural identity and consider your own beliefs and values (Korff, 2019a).
  • Challenge your own cultural understandings, and understandings of Aboriginal culture. You may even need to challenge some of your own bias, preconceived notions and prejudices.
  • Provide cultural sensitivity training for your staff. Specific to Jarowair, Yagera and Giabal people. Cultural competence training in your workplace can improve the level of understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Building a stronger foundation to relationships (Hunt, 2013).
  • Be aware of cultural differences for example: protocols of eye contact and handshakes may differ across different groups (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b). To understand specific protocols for your country please seek local advice. If you would like a list of protocols that may be helpful, created with the Jarowair and Giabal people in mind the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have a comprehensive list found here.

Commit to action

  • Make a commitment to take little steps often to promote reconciliation at your service.
    One way to map out how you can go about promoting reconciliation is to create a reconciliation action plan.
  • A reconciliation action plan can be used as a guide to help plan personal and collaborative goals (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b).
  • Narragunnawali is a free resource for education services where educators and leadership can make a formal commitment to reconciliation at their service. This is a helpful way to learn about actions that you can take to promote reconciliation and forge a brighter future. Please visit the website to learn more (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b).

Take action

Make your service a safe and friendly environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. Things to help promote a safe environment may be:

  • Visibly displaying your respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture by flying flags, displaying ethically sourced local Aboriginal art, displaying language maps and promoting books by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander authors (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b)
  • “Showing respect for the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which learning is taking place or a meeting or event is being held” by recognising their connection the land by Acknowledging the country you are on (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b).
  • Place a physical Acknowledgement of country in your classroom. This could be a sign, poster, painting, plaque or mural.
  • Teach about reconciliation to staff and students, all year round, not just on special days like national reconciliation week or NAIDOC week.
  • Counter racism
  • Early learning services can play a major role in influencing the development of children’s attitudes and opinions. Make a commitment to reconciliation by teaching about Aboriginal perspectives (Korff, 2019b).

Make your service more accessible – by taking steps to bring down barriers for inclusion.

  • Use locally sourced resources that are relatable. For example, our local Aboriginal health services Carbal, publish story books for children. These story books cover a range of topics encompassing child health and wellbeing. These books are available in paperback or online copies.
  • Use resources that reflect Aboriginality, rather than resources entirely based on white models. Allowing Aboriginal students to identify with these characters (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b).

Connect
Reach out to Aboriginal people in your community
Get to know the community

  • Join the yarnin mailing list to learn about health and wellbeing events in the community.
  • Volunteer your time to help the community at different places like bunji birris to gunadoo’s playgroup, Koala playgroup or at Kulila Indigenous Kindergarten.
  • Attend local events (like the bunya nut festival, or bunya dreaming)
  • Attend a dance by Mura Biri Gururu Aboriginal Dancers
  • While there ask questions, form relationships, get involved. When you find an opportunity to make connections follow the link to find some questions that you could ask an elder.
  • Visit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local sites with the children (such as Gumminguru or Amaroo in our country)
  • Be trustworthy and follow through with commitments that you make
  • Begin with a relationship of trust.
  • Understand that the shared history between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians has created a lot of mistrust many lives have suffered significantly due to policies and practices, repression and segregation (Hunt, 2013).

Collaborate

  • Invite Elders and Aboriginal families to attend meetings and sit on committees.
  • Ask advice and listen to knowledge.>
  • When positions become vacant at your service look to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. This will support children by having access to Aboriginal role models in the community.
  • Foster relationships over the long term with Elders and community members by welcoming them to your service and properly compensating them for their time and efforts.
  • Do not take advantage of their generosity.
  • Pay the Elders as you would any other incursion for their efforts, taking time to educate and create relationships with the children.
  • Consider creating your own Elders and valued persons advisory board like USQ.

Rationale

The reason why I created this practical guide for forming relationships with the Aboriginal community in my area is because there are many resources available to educators if you know where to look. There are many different sources linked throughout the resource to access information about the Jarowair, Yagera and Giabal people. However, without relationships and guidance form the Aboriginal community, these are just stories and activities, the depth of engagement is superficial. According to the iceberg concept of culture some aspects of Aboriginal culture will not be obvious to those outside their culture (Hall, 1976).

The best resource available to any educator is creating relationships with the knowledge holders, the elders and community members. The Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Owners are the ones who hold the knowledge and cultural authority about the country and land where your service is located. Having Elders in the classroom and to consult and learn from is vital to appropriately and respectfully represent local Aboriginal culture, and so valuable for the children (Reconciliation Australia, 2019b).
Educators often struggle with how to take the first steps to make connections and relationships. This is a practical guide to help map out where to start.

This approach is supported by the kindergarten curriculum and the National Quality Standard. The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline [QKLG] (2018b), states that educators should be “making connections with Elders and community members for advice about culturally appropriate resources and how to respectfully include these in kindergarten learning” and that at the engaging phase of the curriculum that all kindergarten children should be listening to and viewing texts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being (Queensland Curriculum and Reporting Authority, 2018b). The National Quality Standard expects every service to “builds relationships and engage with its community”. This includes the Aboriginal community.

Connecting with elders

13

Delena Kendall

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone please put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland?
Connecting with local Wakka Wakka community elders

Rationale

This resource is specifically designed for educators located in the South Burnett region to assist them in fostering engagement with local community members. However, there is use for this resource in other regions with some details for educators to access resources. The resource is to be used a guide to incorporate the local Indigenous community members into the education setting.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives place importance on community connectedness, therefore student learning should incorporate their local community and build upon prior knowledge. Furthermore, the incorporation of collective rather than individual activities further fosters that sense of community within the learning environment (Holmes, 2018).

Children learn through observation and imitation; therefore, educators should consider incorporating traditional teaching methods into current practices. If a child’s first language and culture are not acknowledged and integrated into their school environment, the children are set up to fail (Holmes, 2018).

The resource additionally captures aspects of the Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] (DEEWR, 2009) for Australia. The following outcomes are met:
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity: 1.1-1.4
• Children feel safe, secure, and supported
• Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
• Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities
• Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world: 2.1, 2.2
• Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation
• Children respond to diversity with respect
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners: 4.1, 4.4
• Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
• Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

First steps to community knowledge

14

Stefanie Kennedy

I wish we had more opportunities to make connections, formally and informally. There are email groups but there’s no real sense of the person. A personal approach is more effective because conversations, sharing, knowing someone personally makes meaning. How can we create more opportunities to make community connections for Reconciliation?

Rationale

The resource has been created with Reconciliation in mind. The resource can be used as a starting point for educators who struggle connecting with the local Aboriginal tribe in the Morayfield area. It can often be a daunting and difficult task for educators to source content that is meaningful and respectful to the local Aboriginal tribe. This guide has links to various sources that were developed by the Gubbi Gubbi elders. These sites can be used as a building block for educators to develop their own knowledge on the history and customs of the local tribe.  The book that is available in the link is a further resource for centres to purchase for their educators to aid in developing deeper understandings. Understanding the tribal customs and history allows educators to create their own lessons suited for the children in their group. As a quick reference, there are also three sites of significance to the Gubbi Gubbi people that can be visited by both educators and children.

The Reconciliation Action Plan for Early Childhood Australia states. ‘There is so much to gain from teaching young children about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritages.’ (Early Childhood Australia, 2019). It not only gives children a rich understanding of the land they live on but it creates a sense of belonging in the childcare community, developing Learning outcome 2.1: Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the  reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation (DEEWR, 2009). Educators are encouraged to do this by building connections between the early childhood setting and the local community (DEEWR, 2009). Early childhood educators are required under the National Quality Standards (NQS) 6.2 to create ‘Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing. (ACECQA, 2020e) In conjunction with Element 6.2.3 Community engagement ‘The service builds relationships and engages with its community.’ (ACECQA, 2020e).

Local knowledge and stories

15

Natalie Loosemore

I really want exposure and access to Indigenous cultural resources. Where can I source local knowledge and stories that are meaningful and within a context that my local Indigenous children understand?

Creating a storybook with children: Jabreen the giant creator spirit

Below is. A link to Jabree Ltd which tells the dreamtime story Jabreen the giant creator. “Jabree Ltd works for the Gold Coast Traditional Owner community, to:

  • ensure Cultural Heritage and Native Title interests are appropriately managed;
  • improve access to employment opportunities for our members; and

increase knowledge sharing and connectivity across our community”. (Jabree Ltd, n.d.)

The story of Jabree

After sharing the story with children, download this file to create a storybook for children to illustrate: Jabreen the creator

Rationale

This resource can be used to embed understanding of the “Yugambeh language people who are the traditional custodians of the land located in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales”, whose ancestors all spoke one or more of the Yugambeh Languages (“Learn the Language — Yugambeh Museum”, n.d.). The dreamtime story is about how Burleigh was created. Using the dreamtime story I have created a drawing book for the children. Once the children have listened to the story discuss with the children what drawings they think would go with the story. The children then draw their own pictures to go with the story which will make this dreamtime story more meaningful to the children as the they share with the rest of the class and their families what they have created. This resource can be linked to the Aboriginal 8 ways of learning pedagogy. “This Aboriginal pedagogy framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies involving narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community.” (“8 Ways”, n.d.)

“Educators recognise that diversity contributes to the richness of our society and provides a valid evidence base about ways of knowing. For Australia, it also includes promoting greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being.” (DEEWR, 2009). “The element of “Story Sharing” is now understood by more practitioners in terms of Aboriginal yarning modalities, narrative as pedagogy, narrative as process, narrative as ethics/values, storied experience, cultural meaning-making, place-based significance, and as dynamic frameworks for memory and cognition” (“8 Ways”, n.d.).

Acknowledging country

16

Lauren Matthews

Our regulatory body is very black and white. They don’t always have the time to be creative. This is why we need people to step in and be creative. Our children know technology, so can we put some cultural stuff into that?

Rationale

An audio element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can listen to it online here: https://usq.pressbooks.pub/gemsandnuggets1/?p=289

The song ‘Acknowledgement to country’ has been modified to teach young children about Reconciliation. Teaching young children a song coupled with actions acts as provocation to enable educators to have discussions with children about Indigenous traditions and the people of our land, both past and present.

Children’s understandings about diversity and inclusion are furthermore developed. Before or after singing the song, educators have an opportunity to explore Indigenous cultures, traditions, and who the traditional owners of the land are. This explanation can be conducted verbally with the children by explaining that singing the song is used to say thank you to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for letting us play and learn on their land.

The song can be used before classroom time begins or before a function is held on the land. Technology can be incorporated into this resource as children have the opportunity to film each other and create mini clips. The clips can then be used to open up functions held on the land. To display the clips, you can use a projector.

The song furthermore incorporates traditions and values used within Indigenous cultures. Not only can Indigenous children participate in a way they can understand, but non-Indigenous children can furthermore be a part of the experience. This demonstrates an aspect of Reconciliation because all children can be involved. This is because all children are united in participating while showcasing respect.

Research conducted by Price (2015) demonstrated that Indigenous children learn best through narrative techniques, which is why using a song and actions acts as provocation to enable Indigenous children to equally participate while showing respect and understanding towards their culture. Furthermore, the song and dance are highly valued and embedded into Indigenous culture.

The following outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009) can be linked to this resource. Outcome one, 1.3 and 1.4., Outcome two, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.4,. Outcome three, 3.1., Outcome four, 4.1 and 4.4., Outcome five, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.5.

Indigenous Culture Resources for Teachers

17

Indiah Sinclair

I really want exposure and access to Indigenous cultural resources. Where can I source local knowledge and stories that are actually meaningful and within a context that my local Indigenous children understand?
Note: All images in above resource are used under Creative Commons Zero

Rationale

The resource Indigenous culture resources for teachers is an online resource with links to; physical resources, Winangali Infusion, learning resources, eight indigenous ways of learning, local indigenous libraries and printable activities for children from the Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay region, as well as a fun instructional video for educators that includes a quiz at the end. As the resource is online it can be accessed any time, however some of the links are booked per request such as Winangali Infusion. Winangali Infusion itself is an educational cultural experience based in Gamilaraay area, delivering educating people on ancient Gamilaraay ways of life including the ancient art of storytelling, art, song & dance (Winangali Infusion, 2015).

This resource is an appropriate response to educators demands as it answers the question which is finding local knowledge which can be gained through the resources such as Winangali Infusion and Dandiiri Schools and Community Library. The Dandiiri Schools and Community Library is a local indigenous library with an array of knowledge on indigenous communities and stories from all over Australia (Queensland Government Department of Education and Training, 2019). According to Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care [SNAICC], good practice is seen when children are able to participate in relevant cultural learning as a part of routine (Mason-White, 2012). The resources within the Indigenous culture resources for teachers guide enables the educator to navigate what is relevant and how they can embed it into daily routine. Furthermore Sue Atkinson writes about good practice includes good relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and caregivers. The resource includes ways in which to incorporate and foster relationships with parents respectfully i.e. the Share our Pride link.

These resources are directly linked to the Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] (DEEWR, 2009) Principle four respect for diversity as well as Outcome two: children are connected with and contribute to their world. By using the resource, educators are able to foster a sense of belonging for children and a respect for diversity. According to Barfield and Uzarski (2009), by learning about indigenous culture in the classroom children are able to develop a sense of respect for other cultures around them.

2. Intercultural education resources

II

 

 

School lunches

18

Anita Accendere

The department’s guidelines for school lunches are all in English: https://education.qld.gov.au/schools-and-educators/Documents/Making-the-first-day-a-success.pdf I tell parents “you can take fried rice to school. Children can eat it cold. I know you’d prefer they eat it hot, but it’s better for them to have familiar food that they like rather than something they don’t usually eat”. Can you make some guidelines to help parents with culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches?

School Lunches

The following resources should assist parents to prepare culturally appetising school lunches:

Video Source: School Lunches Around the World (Found Around the World, 2015).

This video presentation links to ethnic lunch ideas from culturally diverse backgrounds.

 

Video Source: Let’s Eat Dinner (Everyday Learning, 2019a)

The video, “Let’s Eat Dinner” (Everyday Learning, 2019b), is a great way to teach preschool children to respect, appreciate and positively interact with people who are different from themselves (Child Australia, 2017). The video models inclusive behavior so children learn the appropriate way of being and doing, it is also an interesting video that displays positive differences between culturally diverse children who eat different types of foods that reflect their cultural identity (Child Australia, 2017; Everyday Learning, 2019a). To support French families within the centre better understand what foods can be included in healthy school lunches, this video has been translated into French (Everyday Learning, 2019a).

LINK: https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ket-earlychild-ss10/lets-eat-dinner/ (Early Learning, 2019b).

What is Language Loop?
Language Loop is a free interpreting and translating service for government schools and early childhood settings to communicate with families regarding certain activities (Victoria State Government, Education & Training, 2019a). Language Loop can translate school or early childhood services notices such as “Making the first day a success” (Department of Education Training & Employment, [DETE], n.d.; Victoria State Government, Education & Training, 2019a). This notice simplifies what guidelines parents should adhere to when packing their child’s lunch (DETE, n.d.). The guideline suggests healthy food and drinks in realistic portions (DETE, n.d.). Language Loop has translators and interpreting services that teachers can access in order to translate many early childhood notices (Victoria State Government, Education & Training, 2019a). There is also a list of nineteen multilingual school notices that can be translated for parents in their first spoken language by organising a teacher-parent interview (Victoria State Government, Education & Training, 2019a). For example, one of the languages that can be translated is Hindi (Victoria State Government, Education & Training, 2019b). Therefore, Language Loop is a great resource that educators can use to support understanding regarding healthy school lunches (among other issues) between the early childhood service and the diverse families within their centre.

 

Image Source: Languages that can be translated through Language Loop to communicate service notices with families in early childhood settings (Victoria State Government, Education & Training, 2019b) used under CC-BY

Rationale

The above Digital Resource was created in response to the educators’ concern asking for guidelines to help parents from culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches. The educators are very aware that Australia continues to become more culturally diverse (Gunn, Bennett & Morton, 2013). This is evident when one educator within the Early Learning Centre stated, “Rice is suitable for school lunches and I am aware one of the main meals from your ethnic culture is rice, it does not have to be sandwiches”. Therefore, the resource was made as educators wish to embrace a culturally responsive pedagogy due to many children and their families coming from culturally diverse backgrounds (Gay, 2002; Gunn, Bennett & Morton, 2013; Ladson-Billings, 1995).

While packed school lunches are commonplace in Australia, research suggests that the concept of packed lunches is rather strange for families whose cultural background has not had experience with ‘packed school lunches’ (Child Australia, 2017). One way to communicate with parents from culturally diverse backgrounds is to present a video that highlights healthy school lunches from around the world, in visual images (Food Around the World, 2015).

Schools and early learning centres have an important role in promoting healthy eating and physical activity to ensure all children are provided within learning environments that supports healthy lifestyles (Education Queensland, 2019). This aligns with the National Quality Standard [NQS], where the aim of Quality Standard 2 is to safeguard and promote children’s health and safety (Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority [ACECQA], 2020a). The NQS also promotes culturally respectful pedagogy.

The three resources above not only assist parents in packing culturally appropriate school lunches, but also meet children’s diverse needs by highlighting cultural acceptance and showing value for who they are (Early Learning, 2019a; Early Learning, 2019b; Child Australia, 2017; Early Childhood Resource Hub, [ERCH], n.d.). The videos help children recognise and respect diversity (skin colour, clothing, food, language and so forth), which supports young children to challenge discrimination and bias by understanding the value of cultural diversity (Everyday Learning, 2019a; Everyday Learning, 2019b; Child Australia, 2017; Early Childhood Resource Hub, [ECRH], n.d.).

Research suggests that children as young as three years of age can show bias behaviour and attitudes, so educating very young children about respect for multiculturalism will reduce prejudicial behaviors and attitudes (Child Australia, 2017). Therefore, all children must be treated fairly and equitably within any early childhood setting (ECRH, n.d.).

When the three resources are shared with parents and children, reflecting their own social and cultural backgrounds, feelings of confidence that their culture is reflected in the service is ensured (ERCH, n.d.). This means the service makes all parents feel valued, allows parents to participate in the service and assures them that their child is valued and included in all learning and teaching experiences, despite of any multicultural differences (ERCH, n.d.).

Multimodal Pedagogies in Diverse Classrooms

The above resource can be described as a multimodal approach to representation and communication with families from various culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2005, as cited in Stein, 2008, p. 2). Using a multimodal approach to teaching and learning in classrooms addresses any language barrier as it is supported by images, gesture, colour, sound and movement (Stein, 2008). All of which is a positive and interactive way to communicate meaning to the parents regarding different types of culturally diverse ethnic foods students may bring for their school lunches (Stein, 2008). The multimodal presentations outlined in the digital resource above use oral presentations in English and in other languages. However, because the pictures illustrate, in visual form, ideas for healthy choices regarding school lunches, parents can more easily understand what is expected of them when packing their child’s school lunch (Food Around the World, 2015). This is an example that the teacher works in partnership with children and their families to build positive relationships within their local communities (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016).

Links to the Early Years Learning Framework, [EYLF] (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations, [DEEWR] , 2009):
OUTCOME 1: Children have a strong sense of identity.
– Children feel safe, secured and supported
– Children develop knowledgeable and confident identities
– Children learn to interact in relation to others with respect
OUTCOME 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
– Children respond to diversity with respect
– Children become aware of fairness
OUTOME 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
– Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing
OUTCOME 5: Children are confident and involved learners.
– Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts
– Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media

Links to the National Quality Standard, [NQS]-Quality Area 6
• Teachers can recognise that collaborative relationships with families play a critical role in order to achieve quality outcomes for children (ACECQA, 2020e)
• Teachers must build supportive relationships with families to create and enhance respectful relationships with families that are developed and maintained, and families are supported in their parenting role when choosing ethnic school lunches for their child that reflects their cultural backgrounds (ACECQA, 2020e).
• Collaborative relationships between teachers and parents enhance children’s inclusion, learning and overall wellbeing (ACECQA, 2020e).

Building professional connections: Cooktown

19

Jacynta Hunt

The fact is, we’re time-poor, dispersed, and in many cases, we’re each other’s competition. Given the challenges in our sector, how can we create communities of practice for early years educators interested in multicultural education?

Rationale

A community of practice is a group of professionals with common goals who are collectively developing social capital, nurturing new knowledge, stimulating innovation, or sharing existing knowledge (Culatta, 2011). Underpinning this concept is Vygotsky’s (1978) social constructivist theory that posits learning occurs within a social context. The National Quality Framework (NQF) directs services to engage in professional collaboration, stating that educators should work respectfully and collaboratively, and challenge and learn from each other, recognising each other’s strengths and skills (Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority [ACEQA], 2018). Cooktown is a remote town and as such developing a community of practice can be challenging; however, the above resource presents a range of community networks and organisations that can facilitate building professional relationships for ongoing development.
The Cooktown Early Childhood Community network is an existing group of early childhood educators and associated professionals, who meet to build capacity, provide localised professional development and foster collaborative partnerships (Far North Early Childhood Network, 2019). This group has been included in the resource to address the educators concern about how to build a community of practice for early years educators facing challenges with multicultural education. Any member can raise issues and multicultural education could be tabled as a focus issue for discussion and further exploration. Through this group resources, local knowledge and professional support could be shared. Gungarde Corporation (Gungarde, n.d) and Cooktown District Community Centre (My Community Directory, 2019) are both community centres that offer a range of services beneficial to an early childhood educator.
The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (QKLG) directs teachers to use intentional teaching practices such as making connections with elders and community members for culturally appropriate resources as well as research and build cultural understanding about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority [QCAA], 2018b). Collaborative partnerships, community engagement and relationships with families that reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service are identified as integral for early childhood services in the National Quality Framework (ACECQA, 2018). As such is it vital that educators are provided with resources to build communities of practices so that they may work together to support children’s learning journeys.

Guidelines for healthy lunches in Japanese

20

Natalie Loosemore

The department’s guidelines for school lunches are all in English: https://education.qld.gov.au/schools-and-educators/Documents/Making-the-first-day-a-success.pdf I tell parents “you can take fried rice to school. Children can eat it cold. I know you’d prefer they eat it hot, but it’s better for them to have familiar food that they like rather than something they don’t usually eat”. Can you make some guidelines to help parents with culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches?

Guildelines for healthy lunches in Japanese

健康的な給食に何を入れる

学年を始めるために健康的な弁当を計画してみてください。子供たちに話し,子供たちが何を含めさせてもらうことを話し合います。

健康的な弁当箱の6つの重要な部分は次のとおりです。
新鮮なフルーツ
新鮮なカリカリ野菜
牛乳、ヨーグルト、チーズ(2歳以上の子供には減脂肪オプションを使用できます)。乳製品を許容できないお子様には、カルシウム強化大豆や米飲料、大豆ヨーグルトなどの適切な代替品を提供
いくつかの赤身の肉(例えば、鶏肉のストリップ)、ハードボイルド卵やピーナッツバターのような肉や肉の代替食品。学校にナッツフリーのポリシーがある場合、ピーナッツバターやその他のナッツはお子様のお弁当に含めないでください。
パン、ロールパン、フルーツパンまたはクラッカーのような穀物または穀物食品(全粒粉または全粒粉の選択が最善である)
水道水。

Healthy lunchbox

 

給食と食の安全

食べ物は通常、数時間弁当に保存され、食べ物が新鮮なままになるように弁当箱を冷たく保つことが重要です。お弁当箱を安全に保つためのヒントを次に示します。
絶縁弁当箱または冷凍庫パック付きのランチボックスを選択してください。
冷たくしておくべき食品(チーズ、ヨーグルト、肉、サラダなど)の横に冷凍水筒または冷凍レンガを詰めます。
乳製品、卵、スライス肉などの生鮮食品は冷たく保ち、準備から約4時間以内に食べるべきです。調理するだけなら、これらの食べ物を詰めてはいけません。まず冷蔵庫で一晩冷やします。
お弁当を前もって作る場合は、学校に行くまで冷蔵庫に入れておくか、事前に冷凍しておいてください。肉、パスタ、米料理などの残りの食事を含める場合は、お弁当に冷凍アイスブロックを詰め込んでおきます。
子供たちに、ランチパックをランドナゴに入れておき、バッグを直射日光の当たないようにし、ロッカーなどの涼しく暗い場所に入れてください。

Translation: What to put in healthier school lunches
Try planning a healthy lunch box to start the school year. Talk to your children and discuss what they would be happy to have included.

The six key parts to a healthy lunchbox include:
• fresh fruit
• fresh crunchy vegetables
• milk, yoghurt or cheese (you can use reduced-fat options for children over the age of two years). For children who cannot tolerate milk products, offer appropriate alternatives like calcium fortified soy or rice drink or soy yoghurt
• a meat or meat alternative food like some lean meat (e.g. chicken strips), hard-boiled egg or peanut butter. If your school has a nut-free policy, peanut butter and other nuts should not be included in your child’s lunchbox
• a grain or cereal food like bread, a roll, flat bread, fruit bread or crackers (wholegrain or wholemeal choices are best)
• tap water.

• Cut up large pieces of fruit and put them in a container – this makes it easier to eat, especially if your child has wobbly teeth or if they have less time to eat than they are used to. Send a damp face washer to help with extra juicy fruit.
• Consider giving half a sandwich or roll for morning recess, as this is an easy way to get a healthy fill.
• In the hot weather, send frozen milk, yoghurt or water, or even frozen orange segments. This makes a great refreshing snack and helps to keep the lunch box cool.
• Go for colour and crunch in the lunch box by offering a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit.
There are many websites where you can find ideas for a healthy and interesting school lunch (e.g. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/healthy-eating-school-lunches.)

School lunches and food safety
Food is usually stored in lunchboxes for several hours and it is important to keep the lunchbox cool so that the food stays fresh. Some tips to help keep lunchboxes safe include:
• Choose an insulated lunch box or one with a freezer pack.
• Pack a wrapped frozen water bottle or freezer brick next to foods that should be kept cold (for example cheeses, yoghurts, meats and salads).
• Perishable foods such as dairy products, eggs and sliced meats should be kept cool, and eaten within about four hours of preparation. Don’t pack these foods if just cooked. First cool in the refrigerator overnight.
• If making lunches ahead of time, keep them in the fridge until leaving for school or freeze them in advance.
• If you include leftover meals such as meats, pasta and rice dishes, make sure you pack a frozen ice block in the lunch box.
• Ask children to keep packed lunches in their school bag and to keep their bag out of direct sunlight and away from heat, ideally in a cool, dark place such as a locker.

Document file: Loosemore Healthy Lunches

Rationale

This resource is a translation of part of the department’s guidelines for school lunches (“Healthy eating – school lunches”, 2015). The parts that have been translated in Japanese are what to put in healthier school lunches and school lunches and food safety. To translate this resource the site translator EU was used (“English – Japanese translation”, 2019). The translator can be used to translate the document into other language to accommodate all nationalities within your school. This will give families a feeling of belonging as you provide literature in their home language. “A sense of belonging and welcome is essential if families are to feel comfortable being in your service,” (Department of Education & Training, 2012). This resource is to be used to help parents with culturally diverse backgrounds prepare school lunches. It should be given out to parents whose children will be starting school the following year so that the children can enjoy foods, at school, they would usually eat at home. “Educators recognise that diversity contributes to the richness of our society” (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations, 2009, p. 13). To be culturally competent an early childhood service needs to provide effective and appropriate service delivery to individuals and families from non-dominant cultural groups. This can be done by having resources in the families home language which will support their understanding.

Communicating with simple phrases

21

Claudia Aston

I need words in community languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Simple Phrases in community languages to comfort children when they are upset or for toilet training.

Images in resource used under Creative Commons Zero licence

Document file: Aston Intercultural

Rationale

This multicultural professional learning resource is used by selecting a simple recorded phase to comfort children when they are upset or for toilet training. It is an interactive digital communication word document to access phrases in different languages. English, German and Vietnamese languages are opened through pressing the link of a phrase. The document is set out as a table with each box including the phrase written in English and audio recording of the phrases in English, German and Vietnamese.
With the increase in multilingualism in Australian society it is important to support bilingualism or multilingualism in scaffolding teaching and learning experiences (Hyde, Carpenter, & Dole, 2017). The two-way communication resource will allow the child to have the opportunity to interact with the document to communicate his or her needs. Vygotsky’s theory of Language Development focused on social learning through interaction with others (McLeod, 2018). It is the educator’s role to support language development through quality interactions (Webb & Williams, 2018).
The Australian Curriculum recognises learners moving between the existing (first language) and new languages and culture as integral to language learning and a key to developing students’ intercultural understanding (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2019b). In creating a supportive, respectful language learning environment, the right to practice one’s own culture, language and religion is fostered (United Nations General Assembly, 1989). Language learning is supported by the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009) learning outcome five as children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking (DEEWR, 2009, p. 47).

Shareable resources

22

Georgia Butler

We’re having to find out own resources and the best one we found was through the Department of Health! These resources are like little diamonds. But they’re not readily accessible. How can educators access these if they don’t know that they’re there? Can you help us with shareable resources for multicultural early years education?

All my friends and me

https://humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/buildingbelonging_Lesson3_My_friends_and_me.pdf

The above link is a resource that supports multicultural early years education, and is suitable for children aged three to six years. The link will take you to a suggested learning activity that gives children the chance to explore their differences and similarities in a small group environment. They will explore how being different to other people does not mean that you cannot be friends, instead it gives you the chance to learn new things.

The learning aims and objectives of this activity are to allow children to openly express feelings and present ideas and work, respond to ideas and suggestions from others, become aware of connections, similarities and differences between people and begin to develop a strong sense of who they are and their shared identity living in a multicultural Australia. The word ‘multiculturalism’ is introduced and explained during the learning activity and how it relates to the children in the book highlighting things such as clothing, food and physical attributes. Emphasis is placed on how there are lots of different people in Australia and the world but also many things that make us the same.

Organisation for the activity is group time on a large mat area with the educator reading the eBook All my friends and me (Australian Human Rights Commission [AHRC], 2016a) to the children, and elaborating on themes in the text such as similarities and differences between characters and activities undertaken. This is to then prompt a discussion regarding those in the group, regarding similarities and differences. For example: ‘Are we all the same colour, or are we all different? Wait for responses and discuss the children’s ideas and feelings. Discuss how in some ways we all look different – skin tone, hair colour, eye colour, but we have similarities, such as fingers and toes, eyes to see with and noses to smell with’. Children will then be able to record these on an ‘All About Me’ sheet, along with a coloured drawing of themselves which they can present to the group if confident. Depending on writing ability, educators may need to assist with this.

The resource also contains further suggested activities to support multicultural education and links to helpful resources such as the Colours of Australia Song which can be access via the following link: https://humanrights.gov.au/about/news/videos/colours-australia-song

Rationale

This book and associated group activity is aimed at early years education as it is about a pre-school age child noticing the similarities between his/her peers but also the different multicultural aspects. This is a positive and strengths based approach to introducing the concept of multiculturalism to this age group as it focuses on similarities not differences. Interacting with this text is built upon by conducting a group activity where children find and celebrate similarities and differences between themselves and their peers.

The eBook, ‘All My Friends and Me’, by The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC, 2016a) is an appropriate response to the above educators’ concern as it highlights that educators can explore enacted frameworks and guideline organisation websites to find quality resources. The AHRC is part of the global United Nations, that authored The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), by which all early years educational frameworks and policies are underpinned. Article 2 of the Convention states: ‘The Convention applies to everyone whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from’, and is specifically concerned with respecting multiculturalism. This eBook is from a toolkit of early education resources called Building belonging: A toolkit for early childhood educators on cultural diversity and responding to prejudice (AHRC, 2016a), which focuses on encouraging respect for cultural diversity and tackling racial prejudice in early childhood settings.

This activity links to The Early Years Learning Framework (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009), through its Respect for diversity principle, Cultural competence practice and Learning Outcomes 1 and 5: Outcome 1 Children have a strong sense of identity –  Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect; Outcome 5 Children are effective communicators – Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts. Cultural competence involves fostering an understanding of how each person’s culture shapes their values, behaviour, beliefs and basic assumptions. This means recognising that everyone is shaped by their cultural background and it inevitably influences how we interpret the world around us, perceive ourselves and relate to other people (AHRC, 2016c). The above activity also links to the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (QCAA, 2018b), through its Learning and Development areas of Connectedness: Building positive relationships; Showing respect for diversity; Exploring literacy in personally meaningful ways.

Tagalog translation of the Early Years Learning Framework

23

Deirdre Byrne

When we put in a request into the DOE we were instructed to translate our own documents from the Early Years Learning Framework all the way down, including legislation. They were like, ‘that’s your problem’. It’s frustrating. We’d love to have resources that translate aspects of key guiding documents for our educators and families.

To address the educators’ concern this resource consists of a Tagalog translation (Central Philippine language) of page twenty two, Learning Outcomes, from Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia document  (DEEWR, 2009).

Screenshot of file

Document file: Byrne Intercultural

Rationale

With an increasing globalisation of populations, there is a growing number of families that have English as an additional Language or dialect (EAL/D) who are accessing the early childhood sector. It is a requirement of the National Quality Framework (NQF) that educators and services attend to diversity as a matter of principle, policy and action (ACECQA, 2020c). This resource meets the key concern of educators of having available a prepared, translated section of a key guiding document to give to families. This supports a family’s sense of belonging by valuing their interest in their child’s educational journey and providing an opportunity to be better informed of how the learning outcomes are used to support children. It also provides access to important content contained within guiding documents and frameworks that govern early learning centres. This document supports educators in their requirement to effectively interact with different cultures as a way forward to cultural competency and intercultural understanding (Choi et al., 2012; Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009).

This resource consists of a Tagalog translation of page twenty two, Learning Outcomes, from the Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) document  (DEEWR, 2009). This page is significant in that it highlights the 5 learning outcomes upon which the ELYF is founded and informs parents of the broad and observable outcomes that are applied to learning in the early years, recognising the different ways children learn (Grieshaber, 2010). The page explains to parents how educators used these outcomes as part of a holistic, strengths based, life-long approach to learning and development, including high expectations for all children to succeed (Grieshaber, 2010), which are important to Filipino culture (Omaga & Alieto, 2019). The document also supports parents to understand the ELYF’s commitment to families and community and that practices are culturally and contextually appropriate (DEEWR, 2009).

This document can be given to families upon enrolment, attached to newsletters or social media, or at any time when educators wish to inform parents of how the learning outcomes benefit children. It complements the current Tagalog translation of the Belonging, Being and Becoming – An Early Years Learning Framework for Australia – Information for Families (Tagalog) brochure that can be found at https://docs.education.gov.au/documents/belonging-being-becoming-early-years-learning-framework-australia-information-families-16.  By providing this translation, educational services are respecting and supporting the role of families in their child’s learning (ACECQA, 2020c).

Other useful Tagalog translated resources for educators

• Introduction to  transition information sheet and accompanying letter to families from: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/learning/Pages/family.aspx
• A range of books, audio visual and resources available in Tagalog or Tagalog/English can be found by searching the Trove website at https://trove.nla.gov.au/result?q=tagalog
• Tagalog Flash cards for Kids https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/214987246?q=tagalog&c=picture&versionId=236009036

Resource Links to National Quality Standard

Quality Area 6 – Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Standard 6.1 Supportive relationships with families
Element 6.1.3 – Families are supported
• Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.
Standard 6.2 Collaborative partnerships
Element 6.2.1- Transitions
• Continuity of learning and transitions for each child are supported by sharing information and clarifying responsibilities.

 

Professional learning communities

24

Rebecca Dooley

I wish there was a community of practice where you could talk to other educators who are experiencing similar challenges. The fact is, we’re time-poor, dispersed, and in many cases, we’re each other’s competition. To bridge that gap and focus on some of our big issues will be how we have our impact. Given the challenges in our sector, how can we create communities of practice for early years’ educators interested in multicultural education?

Professional learning communities

This activity involves teachers and educators regularly engaging in a ‘teacher meet up’ also known as a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) with teachers and educators in the local area. These meetings can be organised through school to school contact i.e. email or telephone. These ‘teacher meet ups’ will be in a formal setting hosted by a different school each time, making it fair for teachers from all areas taking into consideration the need for travel time. By being able to connect and reach out with other educators interested and teaching the same content allows for opportunity for every educator to express and share different ideas, knowledge, experiences and skills of various sectors.

To ensure that everyone is learning something new in the multicultural section of education a task for each ‘teacher meet up’ could be set for the school hosting the meet up, to find out information about a set multicultural aspect of education to then inform the rest of the educators at the meet up. That way, at each ‘meet up’ all teachers and educators are learning about multicultural education from a different perspective. To ensure that each ‘teacher meet up’ is a success some rules need to be outlined. First of all, before beginning these ‘teacher meet ups’ it is essential all teachers and educators involved develop and establish positive partnerships to ensure that everyone involved feels accepted, valued and respected. It would also be prudent to outline and identify a shared end goal – whether that be a topic of discussion (in this case multicultural education, or sharing ideas and knowledge about different culturally diverse backgrounds, and/or pedagogical strategies that have been successful for particular diverse needs), encouraging and giving each other positive feedback and constructive criticism which fellow teachers can then reflect on and implement into their future teaching practices. Also, it would be beneficial to have a host for the meeting to ensure that all needs are met, all topics of discussion are attended to, all questions are answered and most importantly ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be heard.

For quick tips on successful Communities of Practice please visit the link below:
https://learningforward.org/journal/december-2016-issue/6-key-features-of-a-successful-community-of-practice/

Rationale

Connecting with other educators within the same educational sector has many positive outcomes. A Global State of Digital Learning Survey was conducted and more than 30% of teachers and 50% of administrators state that teacher collaboration is of high priority for them (Davies, 2019). In schools, a professional learning community (PLC) incorporates collaboration, sharing and ongoing critical interrogation of teaching practices (in this respect, multicultural education) in line with professional teaching standards (Australian Institute for Teaching & School Leadership, n.d.).

Professional Learning Communities are designed to not only be a resource for teachers to communicate and connect with different teachers in the local area, but also to enhance the learning and pedagogical development of teachers so they can strive for further positive achievements and learning outcomes for all students. It is evident that, as the teachers have mentioned, they are time poor, however if teachers enter this experience with a positive and open mind, focusing on finding new information and providing their students with new knowledge and resources, they will be sure to find the time spent worthwhile. Another concern stated above is that some teachers may think of other teachers (and early educational settings) as competition. However, when the PLC is established equitably with the shared goal of improving multicultural education across the locality, this concern should be minimised. And whilst it is obvious that not all teachers are going to agree upon every practice, suggestion or decision, all teachers are encouraged to accept their differences and go into the PLC acknowledging the characteristics that ensure collaborative success; focus on the clear goal, provide a shared vision and allow time for reflective learning and teaching (Mattatall & Power, 2019).

Creating a bank of resources

25

Selena Dyer

We’re having to find out own resources and the best one we found was through the Department of Health! These resources are like little diamonds. But they’re not readily accessible. How can educators access these if they don’t know that they’re there? Can you help us with shareable resources for multicultural early years education?

Rationale

This resource is intended as a dynamic collection of shareable resources/documents to support educators in multiculturalism in early years education, with a focus on inclusion and fostering partnerships (Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority, 2018b). It is anticipated that it would be saved on the centre’s portal for all staff to access.  As educators find additional resources, these can be inserted into the document for future reference.

The selected suite of access links are in direct support of the Melbourne Declaration’s goal that ‘all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’ (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training & Youth Affairs, 2008).  Each resource link connects educators with information about general backgrounds, greetings, cultural etiquette and communication specific to twenty different cultures within Australian communities. The information contained in the resource, will assist educators to promote culturally inclusive learning, by providing information about the cultural identities of the families in their community. Culture is described in the Early Years Learning Framework (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations, 2010), as the ‘fundamental building block of identity essential for a child’s being and belonging’. However, this is also true for the families and communities of those children and when children and their families observe an omission of their identity, it can be just as detrimental as stereotypes or inaccurate information (Child Australia, 2009).

Furthermore, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model (1981), places children and families in the microsystem, which is the foundational system where children learn social and cultural competencies.  However, Paat (2013), states that immigrant families are under far greater pressure to conform to fit into mainstream society. By enacting the strategies, reflections and exercises contained in the suite of resources educators can support the children and their families, who attend our services, to feel welcome and valued for who they are, while supporting all our children, to grow and flourish in a multicultural society (Child Australia, 2009).

 

 

Vietnamese toileting procedure

26

Bayleigh Mantell

I need words in community languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Rationale

The above resource has been designed to address the above educators’ concern, providing a toileting procedure for Vietnamese children. It outlines the steps children can learn to take when they are independently going to the toilet. The resource is designed to be placed in the children’s bathroom alongside each toilet. It has visual pictures of the steps, words in English and in Vietnamese.

Placing the resource in this position will allow the children to consistently view it when they are using the toilet. It is for children of kindergarten age (four years old) who are learning to be independent and may require visual prompts to remind them of the steps of effectively going to the toilet.

The resource works alongside the Early Years Leaning Framework (DEEWR, 2009) of children having a strong sense of identity and the Identity Development Areas in the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority, 2018b), helping children of this age group to manage routines independently. It also allows children to explore early literacy development as they make connections with the written word and add to their vocabulary. Visually seeing the two languages side by side will deepen their understanding of culture, and respect for diversity.

 

Common words and phrases in community languages

27

Shauna Hart

I need words in community languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!
Table of common words in diverse languages

 

Educators using the resource (S. Hart, Personal photography, December 11, 2019)

 

Document file: Hart Common words

Rationale

Instructions

The digital resource provides an easy to read chart with a range of languages from diverse Australian cultures. Educators would determine which language would be helpful to the children in their care and enlist the assistance from parents or the community to ensure the word and pronunciation are correct.

Educators can utilise this resource when children are new to the service to be able to communicate to them regarding their needs. This bank of words can continue to be used by carers to educate and celebrate diversity within the early childhood setting (Radich & Goodwin, n.d.).

Rationale

This resource is beneficial for educators, and families with children who have English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). By enlisting help from parents or the wider community it allows educators to effectively communicate with children and families when adjusting to the early childhood setting.  It is reflective of the relationships between children’s micro and meso-systems of the Bioecological Model as the educators are using the knowledge of others to assist with meeting the needs of children in their care (USQ, 2019b).  It also holds strong the child’s right to use his or her own language and enjoy their own culture (United Nations General Assembly, 1989).

Adjusting to a new setting can be emotionally and mentally challenging and children may become anxious, shy or withdrawn within the early childhood setting, however educators can assist children and their families to feel more comfortable by incorporating home languages (USQ, 2019c).  Having a bank of words or phrases available to use, educators can assist children with daily routines and experiences when adjusting to the cultural contact of a new environment (USQ, 2019c).  Through the ongoing use these familiar words, educators can continue to build respect and celebrate diversity with all children in their services, as they share the cultural and language aspects of their heritage (Radich & Goodwin, n.d.).

Links

Early Years Learning Framework (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009):

National Quality Standards (NQS) (ACECQA, 2020c):

 

Multicultural resources for early years education

28

Megan Higgs

We’re having to find out own resources and the best one we found was through the Department of Health! These resources are like little diamonds. But they’re not readily accessible. How can educators access these if they don’t know that they’re there? Can you help us with shareable resources for multicultural early years education?

Instructions

The purpose of this multicultural resource is designed to support educators with a tool that they can use in their planning or their daily practices. As suggested in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009), aligning with outcomes 1 and 2: Children develop a sense of belonging when they feel accepted and when educators create environments in which children are connected. This helps children learn ways of ‘being’ which reflect values, traditions and practices of their families and communities (DEEWR, 2009). This resource provides educators with guidance of where they could access materials, resources or information that will support their cross-cultural experiences that they can share with the children, families and community partners. Utilising a variety of different cultural resources will enable the educators to assist children to see the point of view of others and appreciate cultural diversity. It will also assist in guiding children to respect the differences among people in their community and the world around them. Educators can research the variety of companies that have multicultural resources for purchase, or be inspired to create something similar themselves.

Rationale

Working constructively with families whose educational views and cultural values are different from those of the educator requires a great deal of care and thoughtfulness (Durand, 2016). Culturally competent educators celebrate the diverse cultures in the early learning service, and realise that this competence is more than just displaying flags or painting dots on a piece of paper. It means respecting, valuing and including all families and staff and engaging with the wider community to share authentic cultural experiences.

Inclusion is important for many reasons. It ensures that all children participate meaningfully while learning and interacting in programs that acknowledge each child’s culture, strengths and interests, so that they are supported to be active members of their community. Inclusion supports current thinking about child development; promotes children’s rights; assists in implementing the legal standards for early childhood education and care; and is good professional practice. Inclusion fosters diversity and overcomes any barriers that might exist to ensure that every child experiences quality early childhood education and care (Early Childhood Australia, n.d.).

Most children and young people in Australia grow up in a safe, healthy and positive environment. Children’s Rights in Australia brings together children, advocates and resources to advance children’s human rights in Australia (AHRC, 2016b). As early childhood educators, we share children’s lives, the family’s love for their children, we share their stories, share with open doors. This helps overcome language barriers and it promotes mutual respect. Sharing becomes a two-way exchange of experiences. A goal of working with families is to create partnerships founded on mutual respect. This means supporting the cultural identity for all children in the service. Sharing learning experiences with families opens pathways for discussion, which ultimately enhances children’s sense of belonging.

Links to the NQS, EYLF learning outcomes, and QKLG

The above resource aligns with the National Quality Standards (NQS): Quality Area 1- Educational program and practice; and Quality Area 6- Collaboration partnership with families.
The resource also aligns with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DEEWR, 2009) learning outcomes: Outcome 1- Children have a strong sense of Identity; Outcome 2- Children are connected with and contribute to their world; and Outcome 4- Children are confident and involved learners.
Additionally, the resource meets the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (QKLG)- Identity, Connectedness and Active Learning.

Vietnamese phrases

29

Delena Kendall

At the least, I need words in different languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Rationale

This resource is to be used to assist children from a Vietnamese-speaking background while using the toilet. While the educator assists toileting the child, they can refer to the picture prompts that are accompanied with written prompts in the child’s first language. Some children may not be able to read the written prompts, so in this case it may be beneficial for their parents, if possible, to translate the pictures initially for the children.

It is beneficial to provide children who have English as an additional language or dialect [EAL/D] with authentic contexts for communicating through spoken and written language. Skinner (1957, as cited in Sigelman, Rider, & De George-Walker, 2013) theorised that language is learnt through the association of a stimulus (such as a picture) with a response or spoken word. Furthermore, Vygotsky (1978, as cited in Sigelman et. al., 2013) posited that children develop their language through social interaction in what he called ‘talking to learn’. Therefore, when educators commentate their actions and talk through what they are doing with children, this forms the basis for language acquisition for EAL/D children (Durgunoglu & Goldenberg, 2011). Halliday (1975, as cited in Durgunoglu & Goldenberg, 2011) stated that the first step of language acquisition is engaging with the immediate environment. EAL/D children develop second language much like a young child developing his/her first language, for example, pointing to and naming objects (Durgunoglu & Goldenberg, 2011).

The resource additionally captures aspects of the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009). The following outcomes are met:
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
• Children feel safe, secure, and supported
• Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
• Children develop knowledgeable and confident self identities
• Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world:
• Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active participation
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
• Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
• Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
• Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts

 

Language cards

30

Sarah Kallman

At the least, I need words in different languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Jarowair Language Cards with language, picture and symbol

This resource connects with some helpful words and phrases of the Jarowair People of the Darling Downs area in Queensland.

Document file: Kallman Jarowair

*Please note that some of these references are historical as much of the Jarowair Language has been lost. Only a few written records remain.

Rationale

Culture is often conveyed through language. Language is the means by which people connect. Language gives children a framework for their thoughts and allows them to express needs, feelings and imagination (USQ, 2019b). Even when the local Aboriginal children do not speak traditional languages, their cultural context is reflective of elements of traditional languages and language values (USQ, 2019c).

According to Paul Carmody (Australian Broadcasting Company Indigenous, 2019) Jarowair and Giabal language has very few speakers left. As Jeff Chesters stated, “The language had been lost, this makes the kids lost with their culture as well” (First Languages Australia, 2019). Educators that value and recognise the importance of traditional languages, support Aboriginal children to build a strong sense of cultural identity (USQ, 2019d).

This resource can be used in many ways, some cards may be placed around the room in places like “the waterhole” where the drink bottles are kept, or in the “meeting place” beside the yarning circle or group time mats. Other cards may be printed in duplicate to play matching games like go fish or memory. Additionally these could be used for active games in collaboration with the Yulunga resource, playing the game Kangaroo (using traditional local language) with extensions to include different animal movements. The applications for these cards are many and varied, and as more language is re-discovered educators can extend the cards to encompass many other words.

This approach is supported by the kindergarten curriculum. The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline [QKLG], states that all kindergarten children should be “exploring alternative communication”, to attempt to communicate (Queensland Curriculum & Reporting Authority, 2018b). These alternative communication methods could range from signed/ non-verbal communication, but can also include an additional language. In this case Jarowair, Yagera and Gibal language is a valuable method of communication and relevant to the Darling Downs community, and cultural background of the children, so is a suitable choice.

 

 

Vietnamese phrases to use with children

31

Cathy Cody

I need words in different languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Rationale

The above is a digital resource for toilet training and procedures to support multi-lingual and cultural learning environments. To address the mentioned concerns, this resource is in both English and Vietnamese. As this is a digital resource, phrases can be changed to suit the cultural languages of the learning environment through the provided web links language translator (Translator.EU, n.d). By modifying the text on these cards to suit the cultures within the learning environment, feelings of acknowledgement and respect will be felt by students, while stronger relationships will also be formed among these children, their family and educators (Webb & Williams, 2018). The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (QKLG) (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority [QCAA], 2018b) emphasise how respectful relationships between educator, child and their family forge stronger foundations for children’s learning, development, and their sense of belonging.
In a bid to support familiarity within the learning centre, a section is provided in most sequence boxes to insert images from the learning environment that directly match the relevant phrase. For example, in box seven an image of the centre’s children’s wash basin is suggested for the image insert. Education and Training (2019) assert that educators can purposefully use linguistic strategies to provide opportunities and interactions that help scaffold children’s understandings and enhance development. When the template has been modified to suit the learning purpose, it can then be printed as a poster or cut into flash cards for display or a sequencing activity. Written forms of language and numerals on each card are a visual cue to promote literacy skills of reading left to right, also supporting non-readers through number recognition and visual images as they engage with and follow the correct order of events (Fellowes & Oakley, 2020). The QKLG (QCAA, 2018b) highlight how engaging with different texts for a purpose, and making connections between texts and personal experiences, all further enhance communication abilities.

Calming phrases in German

32

Stefanie Kennedy

I need words in different languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Calming phrases in German

Screenshot of file

Download file: Kennedy Intercultural

Rationale

Often children will come into a care setting from a different linguistic background to the educators. This can be upsetting and stressful to not only the child but the educators as well. This resource is a quick reference guide for educators with key phrases and activities to possibly use to settle a distressed child. The chosen language for the guide is German, however it could be created to suit the cultural/linguistic background of each individual child. The resource can be utilised in various ways, the pictures allow the children to choose an activity that may assist them in calming down without needing to verbalise. The words under the pictures are in German if the child does want to verbalise, the educator has the opportunity to understand. At the bottom of the page there are some key phrases designed for educators to use to reassure the child that they are safe, and Mum and Dad are coming back.

The governing bodies for the early years require that educators respect, value and include every child. The above resource assists in this and aligns with the Early Years Learning Framework: Learning Outcome 5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009). To accomplish learning outcome 5.1 educators are required to be ‘attuned and respond sensitively and appropriately to children’s efforts to communicate’ (DEEWR, 2009, p. 40.) The resource allows children to communicate needs/wants with educators while overcoming the language barrier. The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines state that when educators respect, value and celebrate diversity, they actively explore, build and strengthen their own and others’ cultural competence (QCAA, 2018b.) By being inclusive and learning key phrases in a different language assists educators to embrace linguistic and cultural diversity. The National Quality Standard: Quality Area 2 states, ‘All children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their physical and psychological wellbeing and provides support for each child’s growing competence, confidence and independence’ (ACECQA, 2020b).

Consoling and meeting children's needs

33

Indiah Sinclair

At the least, I need words in different languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

 

 

 

Screenshot of file

View document: Consoling and meeting children’s needs

Rationale

A child’s first language is the way in which they make sense of their environment (Halliday, 2004). Children often come to early learning centres when English is not their first language or without the ability to speak or understand any English. Thus the need for a resource to aid educators to meet the needs of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who have English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D).

The above resource, How to console and meet the needs of children from multi-linguistic backgrounds, demonstrates to educators how to pronounce common words and needs of children in local Indigenous languages and common languages at the centre (e.g. Vietnamese). This resource uses local Indigenous websites and relevant Vietnamese translators. The resource has been created due to request of staff needing to meet the diverse needs of the children at their centre. Meeting the diverse needs of each child, according to the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR), 2009), ensure that children have a strong sense of identity; and feel safe, secure and supported. This resource assists educators to not only understand the child, but the educator can also communicate common phrases aided by a printable pictorial tool kit. Therefore, children’s needs are met i.e. children can point to things such as play, eat, drink or toilet. Meeting the holistic needs of all children is essential in any childcare organisation. This aligns with the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (2018b) which highlights that educators must respect and include all children, and meet the needs of their social, cultural, linguistic backgrounds. By using this resource educators are able to engage children in a way they understand. According to Rojo (2010) children use their first language as a way to communicate, interact and develop meaningful relationships (Rojo, 2010). When educators are equipped to communicate in and support the first language, and interact with children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, the ability to build meaningful relationships occurs (Gallagher & Mayer, 2006).

Toileting phrases in Vietnamese

34

Lauren Matthews

At the least, I need words in community languages to comfort children when they’re upset or for toilet training. Can someone make a resource with simple, useful phrases that we could use with children? 85% of our children are Vietnamese but resources in any of Australia’s community languages would be great!

Toilet training in Vietnamese

Please note that Google and Microsoft Translator have been used to translate the English language into Vietnamese. I have done my best to translate all wording correctly to the best of my knowledge. To ensure the resource can be used to the best of it’s ability consult parents and guardians prior to use.

Download file with sound-Matthews-Toilet-Training

 

Rationale

The above resource Toilet Training in Vietnamese has been developed to enable educators a way to communicate with Vietnamese students to teach toilet training. The resource has been developed to enable cultural transmission to occur. This is because the resource enables the process of learning toileting procedures through both the English and Vietnamese languages (Reber, 1995, as cited in Hall n.d). The resource can be used in a few different ways to ensure all children’s learning needs and understandings are met.  Firstly, the resource is presented with English as its first language. This enables the educator to understand the steps and procedures within the resource. Next the English language is translated into Vietnamese coupled with pictures. By doing so, “interrelationships between culture, language and children’s identities are met” whilst ensuring inclusive practice is maintained (University of Southern Queensland, 2019). Additionally, the resource can be displayed as a poster or used as a printout. The educator can use verbal English language coupled with pointing to the pictures to convey a message and/or ask questions. The microphone button within the resource will then produce verbal communication in Vietnamese. By creating a resource which produces both English and Vietnamese verbal communication combined with pictures, semantic understanding is met. Overall, this ensures that the meanings and sentences are transmitted to ensure accurate and unambiguous communication (USQ, 2019b).

The resource additionally captures aspects of the Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] for Australia (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009). The following outcomes are met: –
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
o Children feel safe, secure, and supported; Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency; Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities; Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
o Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation; Children respond to diversity with respect; Children become aware of fairness.
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
o Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing; Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
o Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
o Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes; Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media; Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.

Conclusion

1

Eseta Tualaulelei

“Through education, we teach children not to hate.
Through education, we raise leaders who act with wisdom and compassion.
Through education, we establish a true, lasting culture of peace,”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2012)

Early years education plays a crucial role in developing safe and culturally sustainable societies. This book represents the efforts of pre-service teachers to help their future profession with resources so that the goals of Reconciliation and intercultural education can be more fully realised in early years educational contexts. This project highlighted several key points for us:

We acknowledge the immense efforts of the students who have contributed to this book and the generous participation of the early years educators who shared their ideas with us. You are crucial to the difficult journey towards a peaceful society. Reconciliation and intercultural education have lofty goals – to increase educational equity for all learners and to reduce societal bias and prejudice – but step-by-step, resource by resource, shared conversation by shared conversation, these goals can be achieved.

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Appendix

3

Assignment Instructions

There were three tasks in the assignment: Weekly forum activities, the creation of professional learning resources and a critical reflection. These were the instructions that led to the resources presented in this book:

  1. Select two educators’ concerns from the lists in Module 1 that you would like to create professional learning resources for. Select one concern about Reconciliation and one about intercultural communication (one from each list)
  2. Create two digital professional learning activities or resources responding to the selected concerns. The activity or resource may be original (created by you) or an original use of an existing resource. Do NOT present an activity or resource that is pre-packaged, generic or ‘off-the-shelf’.
  3. For each professional learning resource add a separate digital file (300 written words or 2 minutes of spoken text) in which you:
    • provide clear instructions about what the activity or resource is, how the educator can use it, when and where. Include images, a demonstration or shareable templates if relevant.
    • explain why the activity or resource is an appropriate response to the educators’ concern and how it contributes to Reconciliation and/or intercultural communication. In this explanation, use the concepts and theories you have been introduced to in the course as well as academic literature.
    • list links from the activity or resource to specific EYLF learning outcomes, the QKLG and the NQS as appropriate.
    • include an APA 6th formatted reference list of at least 3 sources of academic literature that are highly relevant, credible and current. For audio or video recordings, submit the reference list as an accompanying Word document. Provide separate reference lists for each professional learning resource (not included in word limit).