NAIDOC Week is a key acknowledgment date on the educational calendar of early learning centres all across Australia. It is a time where we, as a community, come together and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC Week is a historically rich time where people from all walks of life are encouraged to participate in a range of activities that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
This NAIDOC Week we turned to Wiradjuri woman, Global Leader for Young Children and Koori Curriculum Director, Jessica Staines for some advice on how early learning centres can incorporate NAIDOC Week celebrations into their program.
“During the first full week of July educators across Australia grapple for ideas on how to respectfully acknowledge NAIDOC week in their classrooms. Including Aboriginal perspectives in early childhood curriculums should occur on a daily basis instead of just during national days of significance. With this in mind, NAIDOC week provides an opportunity for educators to look beyond their services gates and engage with their local Aboriginal community” Jessica professed.
We went on to ask about how educators can avoid the trap of being tokenistic at such times.
“The Koori Curriculum advises that educators don’t try to teach about Aboriginal culture as if it is a topic or a theme. Instead we advise that educators identify what the children are interested in and use this interest as a vehicle for learning and find Aboriginal perspectives that can be interwoven this way” Jessica explained.
For more information on the Koori Curriculum visit https://kooricurriculum.com/
To read more about Jessica’s experience in the Global Leader program visit https://www.edex.com.au/blog
To find local Aboriginal community events near you visit www.naidoc.org.au in June.