Supporting teachers with Professional Learning for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross-curriculum priority: A case study of two schools

Year: 2019

Author: Guenther, John, Yettica-Paulson, Mark, Osborne, Sam, Ober, Robyn, Williamson-Kefu, Majon

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Regardless of whether there are Indigenous students in their classrooms, teachers working with the Australian Curriculum have an obligation to teach the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross-curriculum priority and to meet AITSL Standard 2.4 (Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians). But research shows 77% of teachers aren’t confident in their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews and cultures*.

Australians Together (AT) is a not for profit organisation that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians together by raising awareness of Australia’s shared story and its ongoing impact. AT supports teachers and schools to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives with a two-day Professional Learning workshops and curriculum resources.

But what’s the impact of a two-day workshop? Is it enough to make a difference? If so, what kind of difference does it make? AT commissioned research in 2018 to answer these questions. This presentation shares findings from the research as a case study of what happened in two schools where the workshop was conducted. It considers the responses from teachers and leaders and identifies the strengths and challenges of this kind of Professional Learning.

*McCrindle Research 2016, Australians Together Teacher Awareness and Confidence Survey, Adelaide.