This project addressed a critical problem facing Australian primary school communities, which is, how to best support teachers to build sustainable, whole of school approaches to respecting diversity in times of increasing tension about Australia’s multiculturalism. The project believes that teachers are enablers and provokers of transforming feelings, thinking, knowing and acting towards greater equity and social justice.
Principals, teachers and students working in or attending primary schools from the State, Catholic and Independent school systems in metropolitan Victoria participated in an 18-month program in which core teams of teachers/principals attended six days of professional development, all school staff took part in one professional development day, and the core team received support visits from ERIS staff.
This project aimed to assist primary schools nurture culturally respectful communities, by conducting and evaluating a professional learning program which:
- increases teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes in respecting diversity and constructive conflict management
- increases students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes in respecting diversity and constructive conflict management;
- facilitates curriculum implementation on these topics in schools; and
- assists schools to create a whole school culture that respects and values cultural diversity, opposes racism, and manages conflict constructively