Authentic engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in the P-6 Australian Curriculum

Kevin Lowe, Janet Cairncross

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The most recent iterations of the Australian Curriculum which were developed in the shadow of the ‘return to basics’ mantra of the Donnelly Review in 2014, saw a diminishing in the scope and depth of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross curriculum content embedded in the Australian Curriculum. Many educators have been critical of the placement of this content, its authenticity and rigour in representing the histories and cultures of Australia’s First People, and its absence of a reconciliatory narrative to aid teachers develop learning to support students to knowingly engage in the debates that will structure the nation’s future relationships with its First Nations.
    Working from this starting point, this chapter identifies how teachers can use the embedded cross curriculum content within the curriculum to develop contextualised and innovative P – 6 programs that will go some way to fill the ontological silences within the curriculum. The chapter posits that teachers need to find a voice to challenge the limitations embedded within the curriculum, and to draw on the broader social aspirations of teachers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to establish exciting classroom opportunities using the curriculum. This will encompass discussions followed by examples of teaching and assessment that exemplify the rich learning necessary to affect the teaching on issues such as reconciliation, inclusion, Indigenous Place and knowledge, and social agency, and the moral issues of settlement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMaking humanities and social sciences come alive
    Subtitle of host publicationearly years and primary education
    EditorsDeborah Green, Deborah Price
    Place of PublicationPort Melbourne, VIC
    PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9781108692779
    ISBN (Print)9781108445436
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education
    • school and community engagement
    • Aims
    • Engagement
    • Strait
    • Torres
    • Pedagogy
    • Indigenous
    • Aboriginal
    • Curriculum
    • Authentic
    • Islander


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