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Intercultural understanding in The Arts

The following table expands on aspects of intercultural understanding and identifies examples of how this capability can be developed within The Arts curriculum. 

Note: Intercultural understanding in the Australian Curriculum suggests capabilities that students would typically display at the culmination of various levels of schooling. The levels in this chart relate to the following years of schooling.

Level 3 – Years 3/4
Level 4 – Years 5/6
Level 5 – Years 7/8
Level 6 – Years 9/10


Recognising culture and developing respect

Level Investigate culture and cultural identity Explore and compare cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices Develop respect for cultural diversity
3 Researching, rehearsing and presenting a dance to recognise diversity of cultures in the school, as in Traditional Korean dances
Singing and playing traditional music from a number of Asian countries, as in Malaysian shadow puppetry Investigating, creating and using lanterns during the Chinese New Year
4 Exploring the symbolism used in national flags from the Asia region
Selecting combinations of media materials to represent worship in Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish contexts, as in Tibetan patterns
Analysing the work of Australian artists who draw on Asian influences, such as visual artist Tim Johnson, as in National Days and Celebrations - China
5 Identifying the similarities and differences between popular music in Australia and Japan, as in Asia-pop
Analysing contemporary and historic artworks to compare representations of family in a number of Asian countries, as in Contemporary artists - Asia region
Exploring how and why Asian migrants in Australia maintain their cultural artistic traditions, for example dancer Li Cunxin, as in Community stories - Australians of Asian heritage
6 Creating self portraits exploring students’ multiple identities
Exploring the significance of arabesque in Islamic cultures and creating examples
Considering the ethical issues related to adopting artistic styles or techniques from different Asian cultures, for example, Javanese batik

Interacting and empathising with others

Level Communicate across cultures
Consider and develop multiple perspectives
Empathise with others
3 Experimenting with body language and gesture from different Asian cultures, as in Bunraku puppetry Exploring how, why and where dance is used in different Asian cultures, for example the Kecak dance in Bali and Tamborine dance in Sumatra, as in Traditional Chinese dances
Experimenting with masks, in Asian traditional styles
4 Selecting appropriate props and costume in dance pieces to represent cultural groups in the community, as in Bhangra music and dance
Sharing class opinions about a Bollywood movie before writing a review
Using expressive skills and dance elements to explore experiences of exclusion, bullying and racism
5

Creating visual artworks depicting a similar landscape in a variety of different Asian styles, for example Chinese ink wash and Indian miniature styles, as in A journey through Asian art

Using group improvisation to enact a situation of racial discrimination between members of the public in a shopping centre
Analysing visual artwork from Asia using the visible thinking skill ‘step inside’ to consider the perceptions, beliefs and feelings of characters depicted, as in Angkor Wat bas-relief carvings
6 Creating Manga artwork about Australia for a Japanese audience
Debating the merit of greater artistic censorship in response to community concerns, including those of minority cultural and religious groups
Creating a visual artwork about an Asian migration story, selecting culturally relevant techniques, materials and styles

Reflecting on intercultural experiences and taking responsibility

Level Reflect on intercultural experiences
Challenge stereotypes and prejudices
Mediate cultural difference
3 Identifying and discussing their emotional response to a Chinese operatic piece
Surveying historic and contemporary Australian artworks for cultural inclusivity
Working in pairs to create media artwork that captures similar objects or ideas in a variety of Asian and Australian contexts
4 Creating and responding to photographic artworks which capture Asian influences in the local community
Creating visual artworks using a collage of images to consider what an Australian looks like, as in Youth, culture and the media
Working in groups to design posters encouraging cultural inclusion, giving consideration to colour, symbols and placement
5 Critiquing and reviewing examples of familiar dance forms, for example Hip Hop, performed in Asian contexts, as in Focus on Cambodia
Analysing Asian stereotypes in film and television to identify features that have been omitted or exaggerated, as in Film Malaysia
Engaging with students from a variety of cultural backgrounds for input and opinions during a creative process
6 Exploring how the Arts transmits cultural information and ways in which it may have contributed to students’ intercultural understanding, as in Arts dialogue - Kosuke Ikeda and Alicia King
Using the techniques of ‘culture jamming’ to change and challenge stereotypes about Asia or Asians in a piece of existing media, for example a tourism advertisement
Considering the religious and cultural perspectives of the audience when organising an artistic exhibition or production at the school, as in New media art - cultural crossovers

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