More than the curriculum: Teaching for reconciliation in Western Australia
Place of Publication
School of Education
In Australia, there are two dimensions to Indigenous education. The first and most widely discussed, is that of teaching Indigenous children and associated issues. The second is the teaching of Indigenous histories and cultures to all Australian children. This paper focuses on the teaching of Indigenous cultures and histories to non-Indigenous students by non-Indigenous teachers with a particular concern of education for Reconciliation. It explores how, and to what extent, schools are teaching Indigenous cultures and histories and the conceptualizations of Reconciliation. This in-depth case study revealed that there was real confusion in the two schools with regard to what is taught; how it is taught; who has responsibility; and what the nature of education for Reconciliation is about. However, the differences between the two schools suggest strongly that school culture, emanating from the Principal and the school’s foundation, impact on the received curriculum which is not always as the curriculum of entitlement suggests or the intended curriculum expects.