In October 2022 AIATSIS published the Guide to evaluating and selecting education resources (the Guide). The Guide assists non-Indigenous educators, and others to critically self-reflect on history and the effects that this has on pedagogical practises today.
It allows teachers to ensure curriculum resources selected for teaching do not cause harm to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, but rather foster trust and build a sense of pride for all.
The Guide is underpinned by pivotal resources including:
- The Curriculum Corporation’s 1995 publication, A Resource Guide for Aboriginal Studies and Torres Strait Islander Studies;
- The Queensland Studies Authority’s 2007 document, Guidelines Indigenous Perspectives: Selecting and evaluating resources; and
- The AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.
The Guide supports educators to make conscious and critical decisions when selecting curriculum resources, to ensure they reflect all children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and cause no harm.
The Guide will also assist teachers to select appropriate resources for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and languages respectfully and effectively.
The pyramid introduces some of the foundational, integrity-based considerations teachers should make when assessing the cultural appropriateness and educational quality of curriculum resources.
It demonstrates that educators should understand the evaluation of resources as a spectrum between more and less appropriate. With a focus on valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authorship, perspectives, and partnerships, the pyramid highlights how teachers can avoid uncritically using racist and culturally-inappropriate content in their classrooms.
The AIATSIS Resource Evaluation Framework provides educators with a critical reflection tool to assist them in selecting quality curriculum resources for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Resource Evaluation Framework has been developed from the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (2020), drawing on its discussion of responsibilities associated with an integrity mindset.
The Guide has been developed using:
- The AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research
(Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2020)
- The Spiral of Inquiry (Kaser & Halbert, 2013; 2017)
- Resource Guide for Aboriginal Studies and Torres Strait Islander Studies
(National Aboriginal Studies and Torres Strait Islander Studies Project, 1995)
- Selecting and Evaluating Resources (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007)
- Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2018)
- Evaluating Texts (Respect, Relationships, Reconciliation, n.d.)