education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Teaching and Learning Resources — Selecting Appropriate Materials

Questions to ask when selecting teaching and learning resources

Teachers, in liaison with principals, need to consider the following when selecting teaching and learning resources.

Question 1

Are the proposed materials/themes within the resource likely to be regarded as highly offensive or overly obscene by the school community?

If so, then the resource cannot be used irrespective of any possible educational value.

Question 2

Have the proposed materials been created by an inappropriate organisation(s) for classroom use, for example, lesson plans or student worksheets (refer to the definition section in the Policy tab for a list of inappropriate organisations)?

If so, then the resource cannot be used, irrespective of any possible educational value.

Note that if materials were created for a purpose other than classroom use, staff may use these materials when there is an appropriate educational purpose. An appropriate educational purpose is where use is:

  • directly related the curriculum and
  • offers benefits for student learning that may not be able to be met should the resource not be used, particularly in the development of critical literacies. For example, students may engage with advertising or historical propaganda to better understand persuasive techniques. Refer to the Resources tab for links to resources in the Literacy Teaching ToolkitExternal Link that support the development of critical literacies.

Schools should contact student.learning@education.vic.gov.au if they have difficulty identifying whether a resource has been created by an inappropriate organisation(s) for classroom use.

Question 3

Are the proposed materials/themes within the resource controversial or likely to be regarded as inappropriate by some students or their parents?

If school staff anticipate that the selected texts or other resources are likely to result in objections on the grounds that they are inappropriate, the school must:

  • arrange for alternative resources to be made available where requested
  • inform the relevant students and their parents of the controversial nature of the resource and inform them that an alternative is available if students or parents hold a genuine and reasonable objection.

In the event of individual students being given alternative teaching and learning resources, teachers should endeavour to integrate the alternative study or activity into the classroom program and ensure that the student is supported in their position and not isolated from their classmates.

Question 4

Are the proposed resources prescribed or suggested as VCE texts by the VCAA?

If so, then these teaching and learning resources are appropriate for students studying VCE subjects, including those that are part of the VCE Vocational Major.

Note: It is important that selection procedures should include consideration of the appropriateness of VCE teaching and learning resources when they are proposed for use by students in the years/age groups preceding VCE studies.

Guidance chapter on the questions teachers or principals should consider when selecting teaching and learning resources

Reviewed 24 January 2023

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