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Australian Curriculum

Intercultural understanding is an essential part of living with others in the diverse world of the twenty-first century. It assists young people to become responsible local and global citizens, equipped through their education for living and working together in an interconnected world.

From The Australian Curriculum general capability: Intercultural understanding


Background to Intercultural understanding in the Australian Curriculum
This background summarises the evidence base from which the Intercultural understanding capability’s introduction, organising elements and learning continuum have been developed.


The Intercultural understanding general capability is organised into three interrelated organising elements, each which has sub-elements:

Organising element  Sub-elements 
Recognising culture and developing respect
  • Investigate culture and cultural identity
  • Explore and compare cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices
  • Develop respect for cultural diversity

Interacting and empathising with others

  • Communicate across cultures
  • Consider and develop multiple perspectives
  • Empathise with others

Reflecting on intercultural experiences and taking responsibility

  • Reflect on intercultural experiences
  • Challenge stereotypes and prejudices
  • Mediate cultural differences

The Intercultural understanding learning continuum shows how students are expected to progress with respect to the organising elements. There are six levels corresponding to Foundation, Year 2, Year 4, Year 6, Year 8 and Year 10.  

Illustrations of practice

What Works 3What Works 3: Achieving intercultural understanding in English and History explores how intercultural understanding can be fostered through teaching Asia content. 

Video of Jane McGennisken, English and History teacher at St Mary's College, Hobart, talking about teaching about other cultures through the novel Chinese Cinderella.

Video of Tom Ryan, head of Humanities at Woodleigh School, discussing how to foster intercultural understanding in the History classroom.


Image: Intercultural understanding organising elements by Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (CC-BY-NC-SA); What Works 3 cover – AEF
Videos: AEF

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