Saturday, August 15, 2009

Inclusive Education: Indigenous Perspectives

The importance of embedding indigenous perspectives into classroom planning is a high priority in Australian education. Relevant legislation and polices ensure that each an every child receives full involvement in classroom activities. Education Queensland's(EQ's) inclusive education statement declares 'Inclusive education reflects the values, ethos and culture of a public education system committed to excellence by enhancing educational opportunities for all students' (Slee, 2001, p. 1). This document is a fantastic tool used to acknowledge exactly what EQ's commitment is and the quality education they desire for every Australian student. The importance of learning managers understanding inclusion in the classroom is crucial. A teacher's attitude towards social inclusion is vital for behaviour and classroom management. The teacher chooses what will be taught, how it will be taught and what teaching strategies will be used (Ashman & Elkins, 2005).Most importantly, when we understand what our students needs and wants are they are more likely to actively engage in learning.

So how can a learning manager embed Indigenous perspectives? The most important part of this is ask your self ' Do you know what the perspectives are?' 'Will I offend anyone?' 'Is this factual?' 'Can I teach this correctly?' If you have answered no to any of these questions than it would be beneficial to get a professional opinion. Many schools throughout Queensland have an Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander liaison officer that they can approach to check what is appropriate and ask ideas (Ashman & Elkins, 2005, p. 10). What is more, a creative way of acknowledging different cultures could be to have a professional as a guest speaker. Last year I was in a year 3 class and we went on an excursion to one of the nearby islands. Our tour guide (who is a ranger) showed us around the island and explained how Aboriginals lived on the island thousands of years ago. The children loved this experience. They were interested and engaged!

Reference List

Ashman, A.,& Elkins, J.(2005). Educating children with diverse abilities. Frenchs Forest NSW: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Slee, R. (2001). Inclusive Education Statement-2005. Retrieved March 6, 2009, from

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