The professional learning resource is an information poster for educators based in the Darling Downs Region. Its purpose is to inform them of places or websites they can go to or actions which they can take in order to obtain meaningful local Indigenous knowledge and stories to share in their classrooms. This is important information for teachers to hold as possessing a strong and respectful knowledge base regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures supports the concept of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the centre or school environment (Krakouer, 2015).
This resource provides information on where to source meaningful local Indigenous knowledge and stories which can subsequently be used to plan lessons to engage both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of their class. The resource suggests that educators collaborate with local Indigenous elders, a practice which shows respect for culture and traditions. This is because Indigenous cultures value the roles of the eldest members of each nation and their deep knowledge of culture passed by verbal transmission to the younger generations (Quayle & Sonn, 2019). Additionally, gaining permission from elders to pass on information which they may have shared is a sign of respect which shows consideration towards sacred traditions and commitment to reconciliation between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community (Dreise, 2018).
Attending community events and visiting recognised sacred sites is another way to gather local Indigenous knowledge. The benefit of this practice is that it deepens professional learning and cultural competence for educators. Possessing cultural competence is essential for the development of Reconciliation Action Plans, statements which show a school’s commitment to reconciliation (Narragunnawali, n.d). Additionally, engaging in planned Indigenous celebrations also strengthens the community’s connection to the centre or school environment which promotes the engagement of both children and parents in education.
Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009)
- Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
- 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.
- 2.2 Children respond to diversity with respect.
Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (QCAA, 2018)
- Connectedness: Showing respect for diversity
- (1) Showing respect for others
- (2) Developing awareness of bias
- (3) Learning about others’ cultures: developing understanding of Aboriginal peoples’ and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ ways of knowing and being and their connection to Country.
National Quality Standard (ACEQCA, 2018)
- Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice
- 1.1.1 Curriculum decision making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators.
- Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- 6.2.3 Community engagement – The service builds relationships and engages with its community