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A classroom teacher and the Wajarri Language Teacher adapt and teach a series of lessons to a class of Aboriginal girls. The classroom lessons explore the meaning of symbolism and establish a link between western concepts of the 'symbolic' to the students' cultural backgrounds. The teacher uses a literary text to teach the concept, which she then extends to a writing activity that is responsive to the local community and cultural setting. In support of her approach, the Wajarri Language Teacher assists the girls to understand how traditional values and protocols can determine what they may use in their pictorial stories.
Geraldton Senior College in Western Australia caters for students at years 10, 11 and 12. The school has 800 students of which about 27 per cent are Aboriginal. More than seventy staff at the school are teachers, while thirty are employed in a wide variety of curriculum and support roles. A Language Centre, incorporating the Warlugurra Walgamanyulu program for Aboriginal girls, is located on the campus. The school recognises the importance of attendance for student achievement and has developed programs that teach the mainstream curriculum while ensuring that it can be adapted to what is culturally appropriate.
  • How do you take account of students' cultural and linguistic backgrounds in your teaching?
  • What are the cultural and/or linguistic backgrounds of students in your class or school?
  • What kinds of professional learning, and/or development, can teachers access that enable them to effectively respond to cultural diversity?
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Offline package - Symbolism in story and art