I love the excitement in the air at this time of year as teachers and students start to make their way back to school, ready for a year of learning. The possibilities of new skills, relationships and information are endless and as a parent, watching my kids come home with new knowledge to share is something I really look forward to.
Last year, I got to experience this from another perspective, that of an educator. I loved watching kids learn about Aboriginal culture and the struggle Aboriginal people have faced since colonisation all those years ago. It’s amazing how quickly young minds with keen senses of justice form opinions and seek information about how they can make a difference. I received emails from both teachers and parents sharing questions of kids who thought outside the box and were hungry for more information. I could see the impact of Wingaru Kids in changing the way we as a society think about Aboriginal people and the beginnings of the next generation having access to information that previous generations did not have. As Kev Carmody says, from little things, big things grow!
This time of year also means the ‘Australia Day debate’ is at a peak. Social media and homes around Australia are filled with strong opinions about whether or not it is appropriate to celebrate our great nation on a day that signifies the beginning of loss for our First Nations.
The debate gets heated and I feel the intent of the ‘change the date movement’ gets lost in political agendas and the passion that Aussies feel for our country. There is a lot of misinformation, making a complex issue even more confusing for kids who are hearing these conversations and trying to work out what it is all about.
Like most contemporary issues, the debate often makes its way to the classroom, leaving teachers to help kids sort through the issue and support them to form their own opinions about the day. Kids will likely join the debate mirroring their parents’ views without understanding the issue or why we are even debating the issue so strongly. After all, to many people, especially young minds, Australia Day is just about having a BBQ with our friends, isn’t it?
Wingaru Kids has a lesson to support teachers discuss this issue with their classes. Like all our lessons, there is a curriculum linked lesson plan, video, digital activities and classroom printables to help classes explore the issue, consider both sides of the debate and develop informed opinions about the issue.
We also have this free fact sheet to help sort the facts from the media hype and help students and teachers discuss the issue.
Wingaru Education believes that all children should have access to quality education about Aboriginal people and culture.