Reconciliation In Our Primary Schools Essay

1259 words - 6 pages

Reconciliation is a method that includes the reconstruction of relations, both individually and collectively. It is not a step that usually demands "being good to each other" but a long-term system that is relied on the requirements and interests of both groups. In order to promote reconciliation, each year Australia celebrates the National Reconciliation Week (NRW) which aims to give people around Australia, both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous, some time to "reflect on achievements so far and on what must still be done to achieve reconciliation" (Reconciliation Australia, 2008). Moreover, education is widely recognised as the key to Reconciliation as it helps to satisfy lots of ...view middle of the document...

This is a very important event in the history of Australia which allows all Australians, young and old, to reverse the disadvantages experienced by Indigenous Australians in our community.Teachers play a very vital role in implementing reconciliation in their classrooms, the schools to which they are appointed at and the wider community. "Education is framed by society and in return, moulds that society" (AARE, 2004, pp. 2), therefore it is important that teachers take into consideration, that their role as teachers is not only limited to the school they teach in, but they are seen as "caregivers", "moral models", "ethical mentors" (Peterson et al, 2002) and most importantly "change agents" who teach children how to morally and socially respect each other's ethnicity, race and other social barriers and by integrating every student into the small social structure of the cooperative group (Bandura, 2004) in order to build good characters, make a good life and, therefore, build a good community in this challenging and multicultural context.In order to successfully facilitate reconciliation in the classroom, teachers should be aware of the multicultural society in which they live in and the issues which are common in such societies. One of the most important issues that teachers might come across in her career is the Indigenous Education. Because Aborigines and Torres Islanders are the most disadvantaged communities in our society, teachers should be able to deliver effective programs for Indigenous students (this would be most effective if taught in the NRW) and to teach all students about their culture and heritage which would result in narrowing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, in both the classroom and the society. They should also teach the true history of Australia, teaching the issues which the Indigenous population face or have faced in this country, enhancing the participation and self esteem of Indigenous students, counteracting racism in Australian society and stopping the cycle of misinformation or stereotypes about Indigenous Australians (Craven, 1999). Other minor, but very important activities, that teachers might perform in their classrooms in NRW in order to promote or facilitate reconciliation amongst their students are displaying Indigenous posters, listening to Indigenous music or speakers, studying aboriginal arts or crafts and visiting local Aboriginal sites (Simms, 2008). Showing students the importance of such activities and its significance to such a society, provides them with a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal culture, in particular and its importance to the Australian history as a whole.In addition, teachers should also ensure that their students are sensitive and do not make fun of anyone's answers,...

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