STRENGTHENING SOCIAL COHESION THROUGH THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM 


How can I help my students to develop empathy and tolerance and create an open dialogue with those who have opposing values?’ 


‘How do we address a difference in values when the home values clash with our school and Australian values?’ 


What is the aim of the Program?


To support schools to build strong, safe and cohesive school communities. The Program equips teachers to build upon what they already do to:

  • Assist their students to develop skills to evaluate and discuss potentially controversial issues within the Australian Curriculum in ways that promote critical analysis (especially of the media), pro-social values and human rights
  • Build resilience to extremist narratives through the discussion of issues important to young people framed in democratic dialogue
  • Sensitively and constructively explore notions of identity and challenge misinformed views and perceptions
  • Identify opportunities within the Australian curriculum for their students to understand the contributions of various civilisations to the construction of knowledge utilised in the modern world
  • Provide opportunities for their students to engage with people from different faiths, cultures and social backgrounds to promote common values whilst recognising the diversity within
  • Assist their students to engage with their communities through participation in school and community initiatives.
Why now?


In recent times the GLC has identified an intensifying concern for how to address conflicting values and belief systems in the classroom. Global Education is an approach, which can support teachers to confidently engage students with competing beliefs, cultural practices and values. Global education can motivate and engage students in critical and creative ways, providing them with the knowledge, skills and confidence they will need to become active and responsible citizens of a socially cohesive society.


How does the Program work?


Tailored to individual school requirements this Program provides educators with a framework and strategies to undertake a whole-of school approach to social cohesion.


The Program features:

  • Critical support to school leaders and staff to develop a common understanding and shared vision for a whole-school approach to social cohesion.
  • Collaborating with teaching teams to audit and assess units in alignment with the principles of social cohesion. 
  • Planning together with teaching teams to co-create units that align with the Australian Curriculum and enhance a school’s pedagogical framework.
  • Designing with teaching teams a process for reflecting on and evaluating the effectiveness of co-created units.
  • Identifying opportunities in collaboration with a school committee to involve non-teaching staff, parents and the wider community in social cohesion initiatives.

The Program also delivers a range of professional learning workshops including:

  • Where are the spaces in a crowded curriculum to teach for social cohesion? Situating compelling learning experiences in the three dimensional Australian Curriculum.
  • Who do I think I am? Creating safe spaces to explore multifaceted identities and challenge stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination.
  • We need to talk about controversial issues. Teaching strategies to promote social harmony and pro-social values and human rights.
  • Social cohesion and the art of active global citizenship. Using artful thinking strategies to interrogate photos/artefacts and develop active global citizenship.
  • Citizenship and Religious Perspectives- teachers sharing ideas. Practical support and encouragement to build teacher confidence and skill in addressing ways in which Muslim perspectives and other religious perspectives can contribute to citizenship.

How do we measure impact?

  • KPI.1. Building teacher capacity to self-audit frames of reference and adopt consistent use of relevant language.
  • KPI.2. Building capacity in teaching practices to plan for and review teaching for social cohesion.
  • KPI.3. Building capacity in teaching practices to implement relevant pedagogical approaches.

 

For more information on this, and other GLC projects, contact the coordinator, Rosanne Bray-White by email or on 0423 556 249.

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