New directions in intercultural early education in Australia

Miller, Melinda G. & Petriwskyj, Anne (2013) New directions in intercultural early education in Australia. International Journal of Early Childhood, 45(2), pp. 251-266.

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Early education in Australia encompasses both early education and care(ECEC) and the early years of school. Educational approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity have varied not only by sector but also by jurisdiction based on distinct curriculum frameworks and policies. In Australian early education, provision for cultural and linguistic diversity has been framed largely by multicultural discourse, as defined by a complex history of progressive, yet often superficial reforms. Current initiatives serve to change this trajectory and the positioning of stakeholders. The incorporation of intercultural rather than multicultural approaches offers new possibilities for early education and directs attention to real challenges for ECEC. They re-position Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the First Australians, and direct attention to both Australia’s social, cultural and linguistic diversity and to the role of early childhood educators in enacting more inclusive pedagogies. Challenges yet to be addressed include the cultural understanding of Australian early childhood educators, particularly those who identify as Anglo- Australian, deeper policy enactment in pedagogic practice and negotiation with diverse families and communities. This paper will address the historical and current policy contexts of intercultural early education in Australia, the development of intercultural initiatives, and emerging issues as national policies are introduced. The discussion draws on responses to intercultural early education in New Zealand and Canada to consider approaches to intercultural priorities in Australia. The paper will attend predominantly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives as a core element of change in Australian early childhood policy, focusing on ECEC.

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ID Code: 62037
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Intercultural Education, Diversity, Early Childhood Policy, Indigenous, Culture
DOI: 10.1007/s13158-013-0091-4
ISSN: 0020-7187
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Springer
Copyright Statement:

This is the author-version of the work.

The original publication is available at SpringerLink

Deposited On: 25 Aug 2013 23:48
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2014 12:38

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