320 – Indigenous education in early childhood

Presentation - ECV2022-320

Indigenous education in early childhood

Cheree Dean, Charles Sturt University, Australia (cadean@csu.edu.au)

Background: Indigenous education is imperative for everyone in early childhood centres.  It can provide Indigenous children a safe learning environment that recognises and incorporates their needs and ways of doing while providing non-Indigenous children with crucial knowledge about the Indigenous land and people.  Further it provides an opportunity for inclusive decision-making strategies with local Indigenous communities. 

Aim: This presentation will provide a narrative description of an innovative multi-focussed approach to reconceptualising Indigenous education in the early years.  It will present preliminary evidence of its efficiency for non-Indigenous students as they journey to become Early Childhood teachers.

Method: Key aspects of approaching Indigenous education in the early childhood setting were depicted using a tri-Venn diagram that was developed to incorporate Indigenous children, Indigenous content, and Indigenous communities. Over 250 non-Indigenous student educators have professionally reflected upon learning within these three aspects of Indigenous education and how they might impact on practice.

Results: The non-Indigenous education student educators were provided with a tangible pathway for teaching new knowledge and empowerment as they began conversing, delivering, and reflecting upon Indigenous education within their own early childhood education settings.

Conclusions: This tri-Venn diagram as a model of delivery demonstrates early promise for development into a broader tool for use in Indigenous early childhood education for non-indigenous educators.  Further formalised research is warranted.

Implications for children and families: You will be able to enjoy learning experiences that celebrate and recognise your (and/or local) Indigenous identity and culture

Implications for practitioners: You will be able to begin or extend your understandings and demonstrate how Indigenous education can be filtered through your service, pedagogy, and documentation.  This presentation can be utilised to begin or extend conversations about Indigenous education in early childhood education by exploring what Indigenous education can look like in early childhood and how you can apply this to both academic and early childhood settings.

Key words: Indigenous education, innovation, professional voices

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

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