| Contents |
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2... | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4 part 2 |
| Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 6 part 2 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 |
The humane classroom
In pre-school and lower primary school, to teach for human rights is to foster feelings of
self-worth and social respect. These are the basis for the whole doctrine of human
rights-of the core values upon which it is built, and the myriad issues in the world where
these values are manifest.
The teacher's 'teaching personality' is critical. This will be looked at again in the
next section, but if it is not an open and caring one, it will contradict the spirit of
all that is done, and render it mostly meaningless. By the same token, any approach which
enriches classroom activities will make them-even those not specific to human rights.
teaching-relevant and real. There is no place in this work for dogmatism, apathy or
violence. The checklist provided by Elke Muzik in Chapter 4 has given us her language program, and a wonderful
account it is too, detailing a wealth of observations about her children's responses to
various books. You may want to seek out such stories yourself, building a repertoire of
reading materials that not only teach reading, but develop feelings of self-worth,
understanding, empathy, and many, many other things as well. Children's parents,
grandparents and other relatives can help. Or you can make up together what you need.
In setting up, then, a classroom library will be one of your most valuable resources.
Kath Lock's account can be recommended for those who want a sense of what this can mean.
Books and picture books were seen as good starting points by most of the lower primary
participants in the Human Rights Commission's Schools Program for 1985. They found a
wealth of children's literature which can be used to illustrate and spark reflection on
human rights values, for all age groups. One favourite was War and peas by Michael
Foreman. It demonstrates, using animal characters, such issues as racial prejudice and how
inequality of wealth can lead to war, and the principle that everyone should have the
right to the food which is available.
To take another example: The wild washerwomen by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake.
This demonstrates what can, happen if one group of people is oppressed by another. In this
comic tale seven washerwomen are exploited by their mean employer. When they can stand it
no longer the washerwomen decide to take the law into their own hands. They set themselves
free and go on a rampage to celebrate-the sort of behaviour one might expect after being
suppressed for so long. However all. ends happily, on a non-sexist note, when they meet
seven woodcutters and spend the rest of their days sharing the washing, wood cutting and
subsequent child minding.
Again, to quote a participating school's report: Leo the late bloomer by Robert
Kraus and Jose Aruego demonstrated one of the principles of that school's Bill of
Rights-the right to learn how and when you are ready to learn. Leo can't read or write and
is a sloppy eater. He also has an over-anxious parent who continually follows him about
watching for signs of blooming. It shows that everyone has his or her own rate of
development and that there is often nothing constructive about making comparisons with
more accomplished children. The book has also encouraged children, who are, daunted by the
massive tasks ahead of learning to read and write, to believe that given time, they will
eventually master reading and writing.
Principle number 5 in the United Nations Declaration of the rights of the child
-the right to love and understanding, preferably from parents- is beautifully demonstrated
in many picture books. The 'Frances' books by Russell Hoban show how childhood problems
such as jealousy of siblings, fears in the dark, and refusal to eat anything other than
bread and jam, can be dealt with, provided such problems are approached with love and
understanding. Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells and Titch by Pat Hutchins show
how children can feel unwanted and unloved and the ploys used to gain attention. Children
who have experienced these feelings in their own lives may find reassurance in seeing them
in books-and come to understand that these feelings are common and acceptable; that they
are a part of childhood, and as these books demonstrate, that children should have the
right to understanding and love.
As valuable as it is, literature is not the only useful artistic resource available to
teachers. Where appropriate materials exist, there can be painting, drama, sculpting,
photography, cooking and cleaning up, a work-bench, musical instruments, maths and science
equipment, pot plants, pets, puppets, sand and water play, sewing (of personal cushions
perhaps) and dressing up. A full-length mirror is also invaluable.
When arranging these resources, many teachers do so with a mind to what activities may
work well nearby each other e.g. painting materials may need to be put near reading ones.
Circles foster group decision making and sharing, rather than teacher centredness.
Discussion and shared decision making are basic to a caring classroom. This will be
discussed as a general technique in the next chapter.
A name tin can be another aid which helps in decision making. One participating teacher
tells how she used this idea in Chapter 6.
She also describes how she managed to collect evidence about what was happening as she
taught, using 'evaluation slips' placed in strategic places around the classroom which
could be collected and collated later. This teacher highly recommends keeping a diary. As
||Keeping a diary helped. The notes didn't always appear to be
significant but on reflection, they were often very revealing and I was constantly
reassured that progress was being made. The diary helped my programming because I could
see skills that needed to be introduced or developed.
I used the diary to note
relationships e.g. how the children were relating to each other. This is important if they
are to build relationships and develop an understanding of others who are different. Once
we become aware of the other self and we know others' prejudices, likes and dislikes, then
the self changes. Through the use of the diary I learnt more about my own practices with
respect to human rights, and it helped me to identify problems that hindered the process
of finding ways to improve respect for human rights.
I strongly recommend that a diary is kept, and that it is read every 2-3 weeks noting
who is involved in the conflicts, what patterns of behaviour are evident, who has been
missed out, who features often, etc.
Classroom arrangements have a direct bearing upon classroom relationships. At the
beginning the teacher may need to organise the groupings and who is to sit together.
Talking with the children and trying to facilitate their personal friendships, while
helping the more isolated ones find support and a sense of place, is a familiar problem
that exists all the time. There is no ready-made solution that is not unnecessarily
authoritarian, and hence, anti-human rights.
Consider the way in which children are often asked to line up. One approach is to try
and avoid getting them to do so in groupings that may be used later to reinforce
discriminatory differences (like the girl/boy one-where the class is of mixed gender of
course). You may like to try choosing other attributes, perhaps, so as to break down
obvious patterns of this sort (for example 'one line for children with pets at home' and
'one for those without').
This can happen during other activities too, and may necessitate rules to equalise the
situation and discourage habits, for example, of sexist or racist behaviour. (When playing
with the cars/dolls it is better if there are girls/boys as well as boys/girls taking
part.) In a single gender class this rule would not apply, but others may. Asserting such
rules will probably become unnecessary with regular use.
It is possible to highlight a variety of issues by trying the following activity:
||Have the children sit in a circle on chairs, or in set
places. One person stands in the middle of the circle (the teacher to start with). The
teacher says something like: 'People with blue and red buttons'. These people
then have to change seats with someone else who is wearing blue or red buttons. The person
in the middle also has to find a seat. Whoever is left without a place to sit down gets to
be the next one in the middle,' and has to choose the next attribute.
Children can quickly be brought to see that they can be similar and different in many
An interesting variation is to choose a more intangible attribute, such as people who
are happy' or 'people who are kind'. The activity may break down at this point because it
is harder to identify such attributes at a glance. It is also informative to discuss how
such attributes are usually recognised and which are more important than others.
No person is more of a human being than another person, and no-one is less. In this way
we are equal. However, we are definitely not the same. Not being the same can teach people
to draw lines across the human map, to make human 'countries' like 'us' and 'them'. 'Us'
almost invariably comes to be seen as not only different, but better, and discrimination
begins. A particular difference-like gender or race-is made into a general difference, and
a sense of our common humanity is lost.
The issues of gender and race or ethnic origin are so important as to merit special
attention in setting up. The article 'Childcare shapes the future' suggests the following
to create a multicultural classroom, and to help children develop self- and group-esteem:
||Carefully select and hang pictures of people of all races
and cultures in both traditional/national and contemporary dress. Pictures should show
both sexes and variety of skin tones, eye shapes and hair textures. Children of color
should be able to see people who look like them, and see people from their own culture in
respected or leadership roles. Children in primarily or totally white classrooms also need
to see such pictures.
Create a curriculum that reflects the cultural diversity of our
society. Use poems, songs and stories from different cultural traditions. Hang signs in a
variety of languages, particularly the children's first language(s). (Parents can assist
in language arts projects.) Show a respect for cultural diversity in art displays, in
music, in the guests you invoke to speak to the class. Use toys, dolls, puzzles that
represent all races, in all-white as well as multi-racial classes. Paints and crayons
should be available in colors that approximate accurate skin tones. Make or collect books
about people of color-and learn to avoid any book with stereotypes.
There is material that can help you learn how to do this ... Positive books about
different races benefit all children ...
Incorporate activities based on various cultural traditions in the curriculum
throughout the year. Information about everyday activities of various cultures can
be obtained from students' parents or from recognized cultural resources. Plan activities
around holidays and events significant to people of color. At the same time, beware
of implying that a culture consists only of a single dramatic custom or holiday.
Avoid having one holiday, like Christmas, overshadow others occurring at about the same
Firmly establish, explain and enforce classroom rules against name-calling or slurs
based on race. Read books or tell flannel board stories about people of different cultural
groups who struggled against racism ...
Invite people of color who are active in improving community life to speak to the
children; follow through with lessons based on their talks. Utilize every opportunity to
raise children's awareness of the evidences of racism in our society.
Teach children to identify racist stereotypes and language in books, school materials,
greeting cards, ads, TV programs, etc. Racist and sexist children's books can be a
valuable teaching tool in this respect ... Have children role-play historic and current
anti-racist actions to build pride in people's efforts to achieve justice. Support
children who work to change the racist behavior of their peers or who point out
stereotypes in books.
It is important that the institution that provides early childhood educational
experiences demonstrate its commitment to an anti-racist society in its staffing patterns
and school-community relationships. For instance ... calling on parents of color only to
provide 'ethnic food specialties' or to teach 'ethnic dances' without taking advantage of
their special cultural perspective in all areas perpetuates a subtle brand of cultural and
racial stereotyping that hampers the development of a truly anti-racist environment.
((1983) 14, 7&8 Interracial Books for Children Bulletin, II -3.)
Similar ideas apply to setting up an anti-sexist classroom as well, e.g.
||Hang pictures of girls and boys, women and men in
non-traditional roles in your home and/or classroom. Try to get pictures of the students'
parents in such roles. Hang pictures showing boy-girl friendships. Build a school or home
library of anti-sexist records and books. Intermingle so-called boys' toys and
girls' toys and encourage children to use them all. Include many gender-neutral
play props, like a variety of work hats, tools, suitcases, musical instruments. (ibid.,
'Setting up' can also include a letter to each Of your prospective students and an
attempt to get parental (and grandparental) involvement. Where this is not already school
policy, a meeting at the beginning of the year or the unit can help explain what you hope
to do, can evoke general support, and provide specific volunteers for activities involving
parents or grandparents.
Involving parents, grandparents, and other members of the community in school work
usually means you will need to take active steps to have that happen. Nothing involves
like involvement, however, and the impetus you provide should be well worth it in the end.
Regular newsletters home can be a good idea also, and a class project in themselves.
Otherwise, it is all a question of your own awareness, which leads to the next section,
on 'teaching practice'.
While there is no substitute for experience, there are a number of procedures that those
who run a caring classroom will recognise at once, and already practise more or less
'intuitively'. No doubt there are other items one could add to such a list. Merely
enumerating them will not make unsympathetic teachers into sympathetic ones. However,
trying to spell out the 'how' of humane teaching is a useful task, if only to highlight
the importance of it. Means and ends make a continuum, and what you do in this regard is
what you will get. Here is one teacher's suggested list:
||1. Do treat all class
members as individuals , keeping eye-contact (where culturally appropriate) and using
touch (in as unselfconscious a way
as possible) to reassure children of your attention and concern;
2. do apologise when you've made a mistake (particularly if you've got angry or been
3. do on occasion feign ignorance to prompt class answers;
4. do allow children to become involved in the planning of the daily tasks as well as
allowing them to make choices and decisions whenever possible e.g. 'what shall we do
today?' Planning the day and writing it up; discussing it with them. In the afternoon
evaluating 'what have we done today?'. This helps them recall the day so hopefully they
don't go home and respond to 'what have you done today?' with the answer 'nothing!'.
Planning with them is the beginning of working to a timetable and with young children can
lead to contract work. Decision making is also important. I often allow children to make
decisions and follow through with them despite the fact that I can see disaster. It then
enables you to say 'what should we have done? why would it have been better or a better
choice? what have we learned from doing this and next time what should we do? etc';
5. do use songs and stories and poems. Sometimes allow children the choice when choosing
what to read. In giving choices e.g. for a serial story, I often show two or three books,
describing each one, and giving time to think about the choice. Then we vote and go with
the majority choice. I've always found that children happily accept this method of making
a choice. I often use it for e.g. 'shall we play this game or ... ; shall we have lunch
here . . . ; shall we go to television or . . .?;
6. do set good listening habits e.g. find a consistent technique for commanding silence,
such as a musical note. It is important to choose something that can be heard by the
children no matter whereabouts in the room they are, or what they are doing. I do insist
that the command means stop what you are doing and look at me. 'If necessary, move so you
can see me and I can see you. And listen-pay attention carefully to what I have to say so
we won't need to do it twice';
7. do organise what you want done (this is particularly important on the first day) though
it takes great judgment not to preclude the children's capacity to organise themselves; if
you succeed, despite disorder and noise, the class will have a pattern, though not one
immediately apparent to an outsider;
8. do be aware of the weather and organise accordingly (e.g. don't try to teach a new
concept on a windy day).
||1. try to reward individual children; praise individuals
when they are working, but also reward the whole group for something well done together.
Praise manners, work habits, cooperation, thoughtfulness, work sharing, ways of moving,
answers to questions etc. And I praise by word so everyone can hear, and by touch as well.
I try to find someone doing what you would like them all to do and praise the child so
that the others will hopefully copy or do something similar. I also write special comments
in their books, such as 'Thank you for this neat work'; 'I really like this story'; 'Thank
you for helping'. I might say: 'I've got something to share with you all. You'll feel as
proud as Jamie and I do when you hear. This morning Jamie finished his tasks and look how
much care he's taken.' I don't reward individual children with stars, stickers,
certificates, jelly beans etc., unless I can give everyone in the class one. Then I say:
'You are really wonderful and deserve something special--let's have a . . . ';
to avoid either isolating yourself from the class or becoming overbearing;
3. try not to use negatives or ever to be sarcastic;
4. try not to raise your voice (which does not preclude either firmness, or formality,
or rules). I would never say 'don't interrupt'. Having discussed rules I would remind
children about listening manners or say 'let's all listen to . . .' or 'are we all
listening to ... news?' or 'remember, when someone is speaking it's polite for the rest of
us to listen' or 'how do you feel when you're sharing something and people don't listen'.
If I ask children to do something a special way I try and state a reason why. The reason
why is very important I think, and I've found children respond happily, or more happily,
when I do this;
5. try not to use line-ups when they are not necessary; allow the children to move in
6. try not to have class news which is boring. Children do enjoy listening to class
news--or should I say, children enjoy telling news to the class. Children get bored
listening to it. Therefore it's necessary to find solutions to prevent the boredom but
allow the enjoyment. I find other ways of doing it, e.g.
(a) groupings (small groups of six children). This way the children can listen and often
discuss someone's news. You can manage to sit in with a couple of groups each time, so you
give children the satisfaction of your hearing their news too.
(b) whole class in a circle. Sometimes I have whole class news using a circle. I usually
start by saying something about what I've been doing e.g. 'Last night I didn't steep very
well because...'. Then I do a clapping pattern-part of our music curriculum, say 4 bars
4/4. Next. child says news quickly-clapping pattern-next child etc. If a child has no news
or doesn't wish to share at that time they say 'I have nothing to tell/share'. The
clapping pattern determines the pace and keeps all the children involved, as does the
circle formation. I keep flexible routines-sometimes whole class (if lots of children have
something to say) or groups (if, for example, at Easter, many children want to talk about
the Easter show). If it's a birthday or special 'day for a child, I make a special time
for that child to share the event with everyone, but I don't have one child come
out front while the others get restless.
7. try not to label;
8. try not to be afraid of confusion and noise when order is apparent nonetheless, etc.
Lists are highly artificial, because that is not how anyone actually works. Good
teaching is an art; and like any art, cannot be reduced to technique. Wise judgment will
always be essential. However, practising good technique, while remaining mindful of the
basic, and essentially very simple principle to care about the best interests of students,
will make any teacher, however good, a better one. Caring for students is also fundamental
to teaching for humane feelings, humane values, and human rights. Again, issues of gender
and race or ethnic origin are so important as to merit special attention. The issue of Interracial
Books for Children Bulletin cited above further recommends, with respect to race:
||Learn how racism distorts our perceptions and behaviors,
and keep examining your own behavior for signs of racism. You may want to enroll in a
course or a workshop on racism.
Learn about different cultures and cultural
differences. Become aware of the many ways that culture plays a major role in childrearing
and family life ... Plan meetings and programs with parents and community people and
informed consultants from different backgrounds. Do not, however, assume that any culture
is monolithic; there exist variations in each group. Also do not assume that every person
of color is an expert on his/her particular culture willing to give information about
their heritage at your convenience.
Become informed about the cultural and educational expectations of your students'
families and their communities. Be particularly aware of their traditions of childrearing.
(For example, . . . [many Australians] stress the importance of 'looking someone in the
eye', but in other cultures children are taught that it is disrespectful to make eye
contact with an adult who is disciplining them.)
The standards and expectations that parents of different cultures have for their
children are often very different from what teachers...have been taught in
child-development classes. Understand and respect these differences, keeping in mind that
child-development theories are based on...[Euro-Australian childrearing practices and
attitudes, particularly those of the middle class. When parents and teachers work out mutual
goals and expectations, everyone will gain and learn. An early childhood program should
complement, rather than conflict with or repress, the cultural ways of behaving that the
children express in school. The goals and policies of your school should reflect the
combined efforts of the staff and a strong parent group.
Start a discussion group about anti-racist childcare. Invite parents and staff to meet
regularly and discuss relevant articles, books and school issues. Solicit the advice of
organizations active in the field of anti-racist training; many have helpful handbooks
that will enable you to successfully conduct sessions in this area. Keep a log of
incidents involving issues of race or culture that occur in the school. Discuss how they
were handled and develop alternative ways for responding to such incidents in the future.
Practice how to answer children's questions about race, nationality and culture;
discuss your ideas at full staff and parent meetings.
Apply your new learning to the classroom. Children come to the classroom with strengths
and knowledge rooted in their particular culture. This includes language, modes of
expression and learning styles. Accept the responsibility of recognizing these strengths
and building upon them...Remember that to be different is not necessarily to be deficient.
Learning styles differ from child to child and from culture to culture...Our
educational system favors instructional procedures and practices that stress competitive
attitudes, but many children...come from cultures in which cooperation and acceptance, not
competition and exclusion, are stressed and valued. Research suggests that children from
such cultures work and learn better in small groups that provide opportunities for
cooperative learning. In fact, learning more about cooperation will be helpful to all children,
so plan more group learning tasks that stress cooperation rather than competition.
Cultural factors influence a child's narrative or story-telling style, the skills that
are the foundation for reading; it is therefore important to plan a language arts program
that incorporates different cultural styles of dramatic play, story-telling, reciting and
chanting. Research reveals that children need to use their first language and language
forms before they experiment with a new one, so it is important to plan a curriculum that
is supportive of bilingual or trilingual children. Encourage children to learn each
other's languages. Part of being anti-racist is demonstrating by your teaching style and
curriculum that you understand and respect the different languages or language forms the
children use. (ibid., 9-11)
Again, anti-sexism denotes an active teaching response too:
||Anti-sexist means more than creating a childcare
environment free of sexism; it means actively promoting equality. It means helping
children understand that both sexes can be competent, caring and brave. It means
supporting children's natural forts at non-stereotypic behaviors and developing girls'
pride in their gender and boys' respect for females' minds and humanity. It means helping
all children understand sexism, how it operates and how people can withstand and combat
it. This is a process requiring consideration of children's ages and consideration of
adults' levels of understanding about sexism...
Inform yourself. Read a lot about
sexism and its effects on youngsters and our society. Buy or borrow books on the subject.
Encourage your library or school to display a collection of good materials. (When
problems arise and you need references to convince others, this will prove useful.)
Numerous good works on sexism are readily available.
Start a discussion group. Regular meetings of colleagues and/or parents are necessary
to set goals, solve problems-and provide mutual support. Keep a record of sexist incidents
and discuss the ways in which you handled situations, as well as possible alternative
procedures. Your group can also rent films and invite speakers for the entire school...
Present anti-sexist role models. Break the stereotypes! Female teachers and mothers
should fix or build and play with blocks and trucks and pet mice. It is important that
children see nurturing male role models. They should see fathers and male
teachers...nurturing young children, changing diapers, feeding, washing and comforting
little ones; men who care for children should demonstrate affection and show a love for
reading. Invite or visit adults who reinforce non-sexist roles. Never forget that your
behavior gives children clues about how they are supposed to behave.
Encourage children's anti-sexist behavior. When you assign a task or give a reprimand,
mention of gender is always out of order. Help boys to talk about their feelings and
encourage their nurturing behaviors. Encourage boys to make and play with dolls, to cook,
to wash clothes. Don't let boys band together against girls. Explain that toys that
encourage violence are not permitted because, 'It's not fun to hurt people, even in
make-believe'. Do not give boys more attention than girls, even if that attention is in
the form of reprimands. Encourage girls to be independent and to take some risks. Pay
attention when they play at a distance.
Make sure girls take credit for their accomplishments. (While there is nothing wrong
with praising children's appearance, disassociate their clothes or looks from their sense
of worth. And be sure to praise girls more for their achievements than for their
appearance.) Expect boys and girls to problem solve, to build, and to participate in
Discuss sexism with children. Use situations and language appropriate to the child's
age. Very young children are able to grasp the unfairness of rigid sex roles. Look
for and discuss sex stereotypes on TV and in books, using them to start discussion on how
sexism harms people. Introduce children to anti-sexist books. Dramatize the lives
of people who fought against sexism. Have children bring in stories about their
grandmothers, about how they were affected by their gender, color, class or
religion. Discuss why women are paid less than men. Ask older children: ...Is this
fair?...Why don't more men share the family house-work? These conversations will set kids
thinking and will make them aware that alternatives to sexism are possible.
Support children's efforts to be anti-sexist. Children will constantly be challenged if
they do not conform to expected sex roles; do not let them carry the burden alone. Assure
young children as often as necessary that their gender is not related to the clothes they
choose to wear or the toys they choose to play with. Encourage them to discuss sexist
remarks people make to them and to talk about their feelings; have them role-play
responses in order to learn to handle situations in which they may be teased or mocked.
Non-Aboriginal primary school teachers with Aboriginal students may also care to note
the following ideas, which were developed by Victorian Aboriginal educators, and
reproduced in the October/November 1985 edition of the journal, The Aboriginal Child at
||The first necessity is for the non-Aboriginal to be
sensitive to the characteristics of Aboriginal children--
- Recognising that they are all different from each other and that Aborigines from
different parts of Australia have different cultures. Despite these variations, Aboriginal
children are usually very much aware of their Aboriginal identity within the family
context though they may have low self-esteem outside of it. Most are influenced by
traditional concepts despite the fact that many Aborigines today have only limited access
to their traditional culture. One must acknowledge also that Aboriginal attitudes, and
often Aboriginal living conditions have been determined by two hundred years of white
cultural and economic dominance of Aboriginal cultural values, which are alien to
Where relationships are concerned, it's essential to understand that
Aboriginal children's first loyalty will be to their extended family--
- They will want to seek out family members in the classroom and in the schoolground.
- Shared ownership of school equipment seems natural to them.
- They have been brought up to respect Aboriginal adults without question but may not obey
an order from a non-Aboriginal adult where they see no sense in it.
- They are likely to be motivated more by affection for a teacher than by respect for
authority or interest in classroom tasks.
Aboriginal families' constraints on and tolerance levels of behaviour
differ from those of the school--
- The children will generally accept friendly ridicule from their families but would not
see it as an appropriate style of control from an authority figure at school.
- They may avoid eye contact with an adult as a mark of respect or because of shyness.
- They do not expect to initiate conversation with adults.
- Aboriginal children are inclined to communicate as much through touching as through
The teacher who is sensitive to the characteristics and culture of
Aboriginal children will try to find classroom strategies which accommodate these
To enhance Aboriginal children's self-esteem--
- Use stories or films about Aboriginal or black people.
- Bring in Aboriginal pictures and artifacts.
- Involve members of the Aboriginal community in the school program.
- Promote interracial understanding by offering studies which show the complexity and
meaning of Aboriginal traditional and contemporary cultures and the consequences of the
last two hundred years.
- Try to hold realistic expectations of achievement.
Plan for a flexible daily time-slot for the whole class when the
Aboriginal children can--
- Interact informally with the teacher and the other children.
- Can learn the reasons for classroom constraints and begin to adapt to classroom
- Aboriginal language styles can be gradually enlarged by exposure to other language forms
and by the use of a 'language experience' approach to reading and writing.
- Verbal interaction in the classroom must be developed gradually and will be enhanced by
the mixing of older and younger Aboriginal children in a structured learning group
situation, and by a deliberate initiation of incidental conversation between teacher and
Aboriginal teacher aides are employed in schools with significant
Aboriginal enrolments, to provide the children with a contact from their own community
within the school walls. In schools where an Aboriginal teacher aide is available--
- Make use of that person's ability to communicate with the children, and to act as a
home-school link, thus breaking down some of the cultural barriers that may be
To foster understanding between teacher and child it is important for
the teachers to--
- Form friendship links with Aboriginal parents. These may be slow to develop but the
response can be deeply satisfying because of the Aboriginal emphasis on personal
relationships. From this may follow the involvement of Aboriginal parents in the planning
and conduct of their children's formal education.
(P. Bamblett, 'Koories in the classroom' (Oct./Nov. 1985) 13, 5 The
Aboriginal Child at School, 35-7.)
| Contents |
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2... | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4 part 2 |
| Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 6 part 2 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 |