This resource is part of a series of 8 practice resources for play-based learning and intentionality in ECEC. Each resource is aligned with the Principles of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF V2.0).

About this resource

Before using this resource, read the Introduction: Play-based learning and intentionality. The introduction provides insights into the importance of intentionality in play-based learning in quality, evidence-based ECEC practice with cultural responsiveness at its heart.

Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in programming, planning, and evaluation processes helps to ensure that all aspects of the curriculum are culturally respectful and responsive. When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children see their own culture and ways of being embedded in your service environment and interactions, it fosters a sense of identity and belonging. This practice also fosters cultural awareness for non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, along with an understanding of First Nations’ histories, culture, language and connection with Country.

Strategies for intentionality within play-based learning that can support this Principle include:

  • Work in partnership with children, families and community members to develop and implement a service philosophy and curriculum that reflects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. Insights gained from these partnerships can also help to ensure that inclusion of history and culture is respectful and truthful and that practices are culturally responsive.
  • Recognise that you will need to intentionally build connections and understanding over time to feel comfortable and confident to privilege and embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the curriculum. Cultural safety relies on this foundation of commitment and understanding.
  • Incorporate an understanding of the progression of children’s learning across domains with more holistic learning outcomes that reflect and respond to each child’s cultural context.
  • Reflect on how to best include an intercultural approach that considers how Western and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems can be used together in play-based learning.

Reflection questions:

  • How do you develop your reflexive capacity to ensure that culturally responsive practices are embedded in your work?
  • How do you learn about and develop partnerships with local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander agencies and create culturally safe spaces where Western and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems work side by side?
  • How do you build your understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, and how do you use this information to intentionally guide and support play-based learning?

This practice resource is part of a series of 8 Play-based learning and intentionality resources including:

  • Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
  • Partnerships
  • Respect for diversity
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives
  • Equity, inclusion and high expectations
  • Sustainability
  • Critical reflection and ongoing professional learning
  • Collaborative leadership and teamwork.

Before using the other resources in this series, read the Introduction: Play-based learning and intentionality.

They link to the early childhood learning trajectories suite of resources, including the Learning trajectories user guide, Evidence report and the Assessment for children’s learning practice resources.

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Keywords: early childhood education and care