SharingStories Foundation has launched Jajoo Warrngara: The Culture Classroom with 11 partner communities. With just over 2% of educators identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, embedding First Nations perspectives is a significant challenge for non-Indigenous educators. The latest research shows many teachers lack the resources to teach and deliver First Nations content.
To address this need, SharingStories have worked with communities to create a new revolutionary education platform to help educators embed authentic First Nations perspectives in primary and secondary school classrooms. Importantly, Jajoo Warrngara: The Culture Classroom provides teachers access to place-based, community-led resources co-designed and approved by communities who generously share their knowledge and stories, shifting how Australia’s historical and cultural landscape is taught to students.
The new site offers 40 curriculum-mapped units ranging from Foundation to Year 8 across learning areas. The content is designed to deepen understanding and respect for First Nations cultures while enabling First Nations young people to see themselves reflected and valued in a western educational setting.
Despite the progress of the Australian education system, research has found that 2 in 3 teachers (67%) believe their school should be doing more to support the development of a First Nations-focused curriculum. More than three-quarters of teachers know they could increase the amount of time spent embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures in their classrooms. This is primarily due to teachers not having access to authentic resources which support the safe sharing of First Nations history and cultures.
Jajoo Warrngara: The Culture Classroom platform features interactive multi-touch books full of First Nations stories and languages designed to engage students, while allowing teachers to understand and follow cultural protocols to share knowledge seamlessly. Additionally, within the resources are pathways and guidance for teachers to reach and connect with local First Nations communities and Traditional Owners on the Country where their school resides.
Pitta Pitta Woman, Sharon Williams, Co-CEO, explained, “For too long, authentic representation of our First Nations peoples, cultures and stories have been excluded from the Australian classroom, creating a lack of knowledge and minimal understanding of the diversity of our First Nations histories and cultures across the country. For me personally, I know I felt my culture wasn’t part of my education experience growing up. It wasn’t until I entered a First Nations inclusive university course that a whole other world of representation and recognition of my culture and history came to the forefront.”
To learn more and access our portal go to: https://jajoowarrngara.org/