“The fear of getting it wrong is holding some educators back”: tackling tokenism in ECEC
The Victorian Inclusion Agency, led by the Community Child Care Association in partnership with Yooralla and KU Children’s Services, has recently released a series of nine videos for educators, accompanied by reflective questions to use on an individual level or in staff meetings.
One of the videos in the series, Meaningful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives, was the inspiration for this recent coverage from SBS, where Community Child Care Association Executive Director Julie Price speaks about fear being the factor preventing early childhood education and care (ECEC) educators from engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives
“We hear lots of times that educators are concerned that they are going to do the wrong thing,” Ms Price said. “They do not want to be tokenistic, and they do not want to offend anyone, so sometimes that completely stops services from doing anything.”
The video series was created to address concerns such as these, and to encourage educators to embed supports for inclusion and diversity in their everyday practice. A spokesperson for the agency said “We wanted educators to be inspired by the words of their colleagues and the many ways you can ‘do’ inclusion.”
The series is suitable for all service types, and caters for educators and leaders working within the scope of ECEC, and will be used as a prompt for discussion, reflection and debate at the upcoming Victorian Inclusion Expos, which are expected to attract hundreds of educators from across Victoria.
Each video is connected with the National Quality Framework, with a description outlining the Quality Area/s it relates to. The series is already proving popular within the sector, with nearly 4,000 views since time of launch, and with external agencies, such as Narragunnawali and The Australian Institute of Family Studies using the works in their organisations.
Ms Price said she was heartened to see that the ‘Meaningful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives’ video is the most popular, with over 800 views in just eight weeks.
“We hope that with this video, the work we do with services, and their own reflective work, that every service will be a welcoming space for any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family that turns up at their door.”
“Along with our partners, we at the Community Child Care Association would like to see education and care services across the state ensure their environments are inclusive of all children. After all, every child deserves to find their niche in the world,” Ms Price said.