I often get questions from parents who are keen for their kids to learn more about Aboriginal people, history and culture. Many are concerned about the lack of First Nations content in their child’s education or the quality of Aboriginal education that is taught without true inclusion of an Aboriginal perspective.
I understand these concerns. I have spoken to many schools who dismiss Aboriginal perspectives as “not a priority”, usually because they don’t have many Aboriginal students. This approach is concerning given the inclusion of Aboriginal content in the curriculum for all students. But I believe it is important for parents not to assume this is the attitude of your school until you have had a conversation with them. Many schools are quite open about wanting to improve their approach to Aboriginal perspectives. There are often lots of factors at play and approaching your school with openness can help reach the outcome you are hoping for.
I like to remind people that Aboriginal perspectives hasn’t always enjoyed the priority is has now. For many teachers, we are asking them to teach something that they themselves did not learn about so they may be finding their feet. We want to support them as they do this, help them to find an approach they are comfortable with while ensuring high quality Aboriginal education for our kids.
Here are some suggestions I have about how you could support Aboriginal education at your school.
I would love to hear about how your school approaches Aboriginal education. Are you happy with the approach? What do you love? What do you think they could do better? What are the changes you would like to see?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.