Teaching Indigenous perspectives can feel daunting, like you are stepping into a minefield of political correctness, bias and content and issues that make you feel vulnerable as a teacher. Caitlyn Phillip’s from Good News (Tarneit) has been engaging with Australians Together and is embracing her vulnerability as a teacher to engage students in rich and authentic learning about Australia.
“One of the best parts of our first week together was writing our Acknowledgement of Country. We used the book Respect, by Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson to provoke discussion, and then used the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia to research the name of the land our school is on.
We watched a video from YouTube of Wurundjeri Elder Colin Hunter Jr giving a Wurundjeri Welcome to Country which was really special to listen to! We then unpacked the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country. Before writing our own, we knew we needed to research some examples to find out the kind of language, symbols and key ideas that we needed to include. We talked about our values and beliefs as a school, and combined those ideas to write our class Acknowledgement of Country.
Each student has their own copy in the front of their books and we made a big and beautiful version to hang at the entrance to our classroom.
This learning experience was created from ideas from my Year 4 teaching team and I am so excited by the way it has really set the tone for some of the learning we are going to do as a team and as a Year 4 community this year.”- Caitlyn Phillips’s Year 4 Team Leader GNLC.
Learning Leader: Innovation