Learn. Respect. Engage. Lead. A case study of a successful whole-of-school approach to improving engagement with First Nations content and perspectives

Year: 2021

Author: Guenther, John, Ober, Robyn, Osborne, Sam, Williamson-Kefu, Majon, Taylor, Terri

Type of paper: Individual Paper

This paper will examine the learning and change journey of a small regional school in South Australia. After undertaking professional learning with Australians Together, the school leadership team committed to taking action towards change, specifically in relation to the way that they engaged with First Nations content and perspectives in the classrooms, as well as in the school more broadly. The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education is currently working on two projects with Australians Together; one which is focused on teachers and school leaders, and another that is focused on students and their families. In this presentation, the researchers will discuss the findings of the first project, specifically in relation to the role of leadership. Many teachers and school leaders state that they don’t know where to start when engaging with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority, or that they don’t have enough knowledge about potential content, or they are scared to make mistakes. This case study will exemplify the potential of a whole-of-school approach with strong leadership that is willing to take the initiative and be uncomfortable as they navigate a space in which they are not experts.