education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Teaching and Learning Resources — Selecting Appropriate Materials

Policy

The purpose of this policy is to outline department policy and guidance on selecting suitable teaching and learning resources for students.

Summary

  • Schools must ensure that teaching and learning resources provide challenging and engaging learning programs for students but do not offend students or the wider school community due to their obscene, offensive or controversial nature.
  • Schools must not use teaching and learning resources created by inappropriate organisations for classroom use.
  • The department provides guidelines to inform teachers’ and principals’ decisions regarding the selection of teaching and learning resources, available on the Guidance tab.
  • These guidelines also outline how schools should respond to objections raised about the use of specific teaching and learning resources.

Details

Principals must ensure that the school complies with the Selecting Teaching and Learning Resources Guidelines, available on the Guidance tab, including that:

  • schools do not expose students to highly offensive or obscene materials or themes
  • schools do not expose students to materials created by inappropriate organisations for classroom use – refer to the definition section for a list of inappropriate organisations
  • the school community is informed of possible controversial texts prior to their use in classrooms
  • students and parents know they can raise objections to the teaching and learning resources.

Teachers and principals also need to ensure that selected teaching and learning resources:

  • support students to learn the curriculum – refer to:
  • are suitable for the age group using them
  • consider the words, behaviour, images or themes of the resources in terms of the:
    • context
    • impact on the audience age group
    • literary, artistic or educational merit of the material
    • intention of the author and general character of the material.

Principals may consult with school council or other members of the school community regarding the selection of teaching and learning resources.

To ensure that staff respond reasonably and respectfully to objections to the use of specific teaching and learning resources, schools must:

  • ensure the objection is provided to the principal
  • establish the basis for an objection
  • at all times demonstrate respect for the views of the objector
  • identify the basis of the objection by referring to the section: Resolving issues concerning objections to teaching and learning resources on the Guidance tab
  • make every effort to resolve objections to the use of specific teaching and learning resources through discussion and conciliation.

Definitions

Controversial material
Material about which opinions can differ.

Inappropriate organisations
Inappropriate organisations are those listed in the Sponsorship policy and Financial Literacy policy:

  • political parties
  • tobacco companies
  • gaming venues
  • companies involved in the sale or promotion of alcohol
  • companies involved in the sale or promotion of weapons, including firearms
  • companies that encourage unhealthy food choices by young people
  • religious organisations, excepting for the delivery of Special Religious Instruction
  • authorised deposit-taking institutions such as banks.

Offensive or obscene material
Material about which there is a consensus that it is unacceptable.

Teaching and learning resources
The ‘teaching and learning resources’ referred to in the guidelines include any spoken, written or visual text or activity used or conducted by schools, for example:

  • text books
  • novels
  • films
  • plays
  • radio programs
  • multimedia
  • digital learning resources including video, audio, text, animations and images
  • lectures
  • speeches
  • performances.
Department policy on selecting appropriate teaching and learning resources for students

Reviewed 19 July 2022

Policy last updated

19 July 2022

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Learning Design and Innovation Unit

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