Consider how the knowledge, skills and experiences students bring can be valued in the teaching and learning program. Like any cohort of students you are teaching, you need to have high expectations about what each student can achieve.
”Find out what has gone on before – in the school and in the classroom – and build on that. High expectations accompany high achievement.” (Remote educator, NT).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators know the students and how they learn. It is important to work as a team to develop suitable teaching methods, contextualised programs and engaging activities.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators are able to bring a cultural lens with how the curriculum can be integrated with the local culture and context. Some learning areas may require more unpacking than others to ensure shared understanding and links to local ways of being, knowing and doing.
Effective planning involves teams thinking about, talking about and making decisions about the what, the why and the how of teaching and learning as well as preparing resources and practising activities. It is ideal to set time aside for the teaching team to reflect on the day’s teaching and to plan and prepare for the next day.
Integrating local culture perspectives in learning provides opportunities to explore curriculum content in a way that is relevant and meaningful for students.
“Learning is not separated from language and country as both are integral to world views and identity. Significant places and stories help interpret and teach vital lessons” (Aboriginal teacher, NT).
“When teaching science in ESL classrooms, there is a much greater chance that students will develop misconceptions because of the use of two languages and two bodies of scientific knowledge. We must provide structured experiences and learning environments, so there are opportunities for students to test out their ideas and prove the correct concept to themselves” (Aboriginal teacher, NT).
Teacher Professional standards (Graduate)
1.1 Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
1.2 Understand how students learn
1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
1.5 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities