The Intercultural capability curriculum focuses on learning about cultural understandings and practices. Students examine, reflect on and challenge assumptions, stereotypes and prejudices and explore how intercultural experiences can influence and change attitudes and beliefs.
Students apply their learning in intercultural capability to complex questions of the globalised world. Intercultural capability fosters skills that assist students to negotiate across barriers that may arise from differences.
Intercultural capability is strongly connected to those areas of learning concerned with people and their societies, relationships and interactions, including the Personal and Social capability knowledge and skills related to empathy, openness, respect and conflict resolution.
It is the responsibility of schools to ensure that a duty of care is exercised in relation to the health and safety of all students when teaching the Intercultural Capability curriculum. Involving students in analysing their own cultural identities and practices and those of others in their school can be an effective way to develop intercultural capabilities, but some students may not wish to share observations on their own cultural identities and practices with others. Schools should ensure that students have provided informed consent before a teacher uses knowledge of a student’s cultural background in class and provide alternatives for students who do not wish to voluntarily undertake any activity requiring sharing of their own experience.
Additionally, when learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural expressions, teachers must follow the protocols developed by the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI). These protocols seek to protect the integrity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural expressions in a way in which all Australians can engage respectfully and feel connected to this identity.