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Curriculum Spotlight: Intercultural Understanding

With the release of Version 9.0 of the Australian Curriculum, the ACTF Learning team is reflecting on the value of locally produced screen content in teaching all three dimensions of the curriculum. In this issue, we look at the general capability of Intercultural Understanding.

As explained by ACARA: ‘Intercultural understanding encompasses the behaviours and dispositions that students need to understand what happens and what to do when cultures intersect.’ The content addressed in this capability sees students reflect on and engage with their own culture and those of others and develop their ability to navigate intercultural contexts.    

ACTF-supported content can be a powerful tool for developing students’ intercultural knowledge and skills because it enables them to explore and understand cultural diversity in our local context. Through depicting Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity on screen, these series enable children to reflect on their own cultural backgrounds and learn about the cultural perspectives and practices of other people in their communities.

For example, this instructive article by Early Childhood Australia shows how Little J and Big Cuz was used to build preschool children’s understanding of First Nations cultures. In other educational settings, teachers use children’s series such as Hardball, Mustangs FC, My Place and Woven Threads to illustrate the cultural diversity within our country.

Using Australian screen content in the classroom helps teachers to address content in all three sub-elements of Intercultural Understanding:

  • Reflect on the relationship between cultures and identities
  • Examine cultural perspectives and worldviews
  • Explore the influence of cultures on interactions

And more importantly, doing so ultimately encourages students’ understanding and acceptance of others in the real world.

Recommended resources

Are You Tougher than Your Ancestors?

This fun and immersive living history series pits the skills of today’s kids against the exploits of children from Australia’s past to find out how they measure up. Drawing on our rich First Nations and multicultural heritage, the series celebrates the diversity of Australia’s shared history.

Hardball Teaching Toolkit

Set across the backdrop of colourful Western Sydney, Hardball traverses the highs and lows of pre-teen life. Themes of family, multiculturalism, and resilience – along with ethical dilemmas, Jerry’s healthy respect for mathematics, and the problematic use of ICT by almost everyone – make Hardball the perfect children’s series to explore the General Capabilities through. This resource identifies key Hardball clips and includes a series of tasks centred on Intercultural Understanding.

See also:

August 11th 2022

‘Giving space to the voices of the past’: My Place site updated

Curator and writer Jennifer Forest has collaborated with ACTF First Nations Designer April Phillips to update content in the My Place for Teachers decade timeline, aiming to better represent diverse voices from Australia’s past. 

August 11th 2022

New resource: Writing rubrics

In response to teacher feedback received last year, the ACTF has developed writing rubrics to support students entering the 2022 My Place Competition.

August 11th 2022

Entries for the 2022 My Place Competition now open

Students are invited to submit their creative writing entries for the 2022 My Place Competition from 15 August – 16 September.

August 1st 2022

Academy Award winner Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia to be adapted for television

The Oscar-winning team behind The Lost Thing, Shaun Tan and producer Sophie Byrne, has joined forces with Barbara Stephen and Alexia Gates-Foale from animation studio Flying Bark Productions to develop an animated series based on Shaun’s bestselling illustrated book Tales from Outer Suburbia.

August 1st 2022

Record ACTF investment into new children’s content

The Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) has committed a record $9.6 million to the development and production of new children’s content since receiving additional funding.

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