Topic 2: Supportive classrooms

Print Topic Teacher Corey Warrior with students

Significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ language and cultural backgrounds include English as a second language, which impacts on the success of their learning in classrooms.

This topic will involve the following:

  • developing insights and understandings that the social and cultural contexts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners may be different to the social and cultural contexts of the teacher.
  • exploring stereotypes and forms of discrimination that are based on erroneous beliefs and attitudes.
  • addressing pedagogical processes and structures to expand your understanding of the learning needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • ensuring parents and caregivers feel welcome in schools.

Get StartedExplore the concepts, activities and assessment tasks below or use the Get Started button to work through the content in the suggested sequence.

Education is 'heart business'

Building respectful relationships with students, the link between education and health.
CONCEPTS

Windows and mirrors

For many teachers, the only books available growing up showed mirrors of themselves. Very few provided windows to other worlds.
CONCEPTS

English literacy and language

Literacy is the ability to read and write in any language, not only standard Australian English.
CONCEPTS

Indigenous languages

As teachers will be aware, there are many, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
CONCEPTS

Aboriginal English

Catering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who do not have English as their first language.
CONCEPTS

Hearing loss

Ear disease and associated hearing loss are prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
CONCEPTS

Welcoming parents & caregivers

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, historical issues have left a legacy of deep suspicion in relation to schooling.
CONCEPTS

Readings

Suggested readings for Topic 2: A supportive school - some decisions about texts required
CONCEPTS

Feeling welcome

Activity: As a parent/caregiver, what would make you feel welcome in a school?
CONCEPTS

A supportive school culture

Activity: Explore the factors that lead to a supportive and inclusive classroom.
CONCEPTS

Improving student attendance

Activity: Consider how to provide a learning environment that is centred on intellectual integrity and good relationships.
CONCEPTS

Windows and mirrors

Activity: Reflect on the statement ‘we need books in which children can find themselves’.
CONCEPTS

Language and literacy

Activity: Using a semantic web to explore a topic.
CONCEPTS

Making meaning of text

Activity: Making meaning of text using the story Handa's Surprise.
CONCEPTS

Stereotyping and generalising

Activity: Detect illogical thinking and stereotyping.
CONCEPTS

Your first school appointment

Assessment: Working with peers as a beginning teacher.
CONCEPTS

Reflective Journal

Assessment: Keep a Reflective Journal as a written record of your engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in Teacher Education.
CONCEPTS

Topic review

Review the concepts, activities and assessment tasks in Topic 2.
CONCEPTS