Service Learning Leader Says New Australian Curriculum Opens Doors to Intercultural Learning
In 2011, the Australian government introduced a new Australian educational curriculum. Now the head of an organisation that facilitates service and intercultural learning programs, Kate Miller, says that elements of the new Australian curriculum are a step in the right direction. The organisation has partnered with Social Education Victoria to map its social education programs to the new curriculum in order to help support some of the new material focused on intercultural learning and an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and perspectives. www.destinationdreaming.com.au/
According to an interview with Education Today in 2009*, Professor Barry McGaw revealed that the new curriculum will be able to promote intercultural learning by including aboriginal history. This new curriculum ? slated to commence at the beginning of 2013 ? will introduce the history of Australia before the arrival of the Europeans.
This new focus is considered a positive development by Kate Miller, Program Director of Destination Dreaming, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes intercultural learning and social justice programs. ‘Our programs may be integrated directly in school curricula and schools can meet these new curriculum requirements in an inspiring and challenging way that sticks in the minds of the students while also teaching them life skills. To assist in this process, we have recently entered into a formal partnership with Social Education Victoria, a professional organisation supporting teachers of Civics and Citizenship, Politics, Sociology and Social Justice Coordinators.’
Expounding on the partnership, Kate says, ‘We are working together with SEV to map our programs to school curricula in the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors. We will also be joining together to offer professional development for teachers in the areas of service, intercultural learning and community engagement.’
Destination Dreaming provides service and intercultural learning programs which aim to develop partnerships based on mutual respect and introduce two-way learning between schools from different cultures. For more information on how schools can meet the revised curriculum in a way that promotes student engagement and social learning, please visit www.destinationdreaming.com.au/.