Australian Literacy Educators' Association
School of Education
Articulated within the Australian Curriculum (AC) and the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) are strong principles of diversity and intercultural awareness. These principles place a responsibility on educators to make curriculum decisions that reflect inclusive goals and practices. It is important that all children have access to authentic and accurate representations and role models related to their cultural backgrounds and everyday lives, in order to gain benefits associated with developing a positive sense of identity and belonging (Gollnick and Chinn, 2006; Jones Diaz and Harvey, 2002; Morgan, 2009) with additional benefits to their academic and intellectual progress (Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, 2000; Fleer and Raban, 2005; Siraj-Blatchford and Taggart, 2009). This is where culturally diverse literature can be a particularly valuable resource to address principles of diversity while addressing curriculum requirements. By selecting children's books that are representative of diversity, pathways are open for children to discuss and consider important issues such as diverse perspectives, intercultural awareness, and breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions. In turn, these types of conversations with children develop general capabilities such as Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capabilities, and Ethical and Intercultural Understandings.