Maria Delaney

Back in the days when I was a mother of young children and a part-time supply teacher, I used to go around to many different classes, and usually I’d be in a co-operative teaching classroom with another teacher. It was a wonderful opportunity to observe and learn, and there are indeed many switched on educators who do amazing jobs. Their examples are amply represented in the resources on this site. One of the things that struck me, however, was how teachers would so often, unconsciously, reinforce rather than challenge social constructions and power imbalances. It was usually in seemingly small everyday ways… lining up in rows of boys and girls, boys against girls in games, recommending cars and football books to the boys, failing to follow up with complaints about aggressive and harassing behaviour from some boys, presuming that the quiet behaviour of most girls was just them ‘being good’. Within the curriculum, opportunities were often missed to be inquiring and critical, to include diverse perspectives from various groups and cultural, religious and philosophical communities, and to challenge prejudiced, discriminatory and abusive attitudes and behaviours.

Conversations with parents at the school gate and the classroom door quite often brought up issues of social expectations, prejudice, discrimination, bullying and violence. Parents concerns about academic achievement (and about NAPLAN test scores) are secondary to their concerns that their children are safe, that they are treated kindly, that they ‘fit in’, are included in friendship groups, and will not be bullied. Many parents expressed frustration that their concerns were difficult for schools to address.

Many years later I am more than ever convinced that the creation of kind, caring and non-violent communities requires that parents, educators and administrators work together to better understand social issues. I here offer whatever I can do to help.

I also believe that internet technology provides revolutionary spaces for us to network, share and collaborate, and I hope that this site will be a popular community hub for resourcing and inspiring progress. Please spread the word.

Maria

3 Comments
  1. Maria Delaney 11 years ago

    Hi everyone, please let me know what you think of this site. Any suggestions for content are most welcome. Maria

  2. Chris Henderson 11 years ago

    Maria, congratulations. This is greatly needed, locally, nationally and beyond. An excellent resource for educators, jurisdictions, schools and young people. One that builds on Maria’s decades of critical analysis, program development and education in relation to violence prevention, gender education and the broader field of social justice and her roles as researcher, educator and consultant on numerous programs within Queensland, nationally and beyond. Her position as Senior Project Officer for the national Safe and Supportive Schools Communities project and Bullying. No way! website in particular ensured that these initiatives were at the cutting edge in Australia and internationally in terms of their understanding and nuanced articulation of the social constructions of bullying and violence and the intersection of these with existing psychological perspectives.

    This website make an important, much needed contribution to Australian education and social justice. Bravo.

  3. Carly Lawlor 11 years ago

    I will definitely be emailing a link to this site to my children’s various schools, with a view of aiding them in any way i can.
    After all, it is hand in hand that we strive for a common goal, a safe and happy education for my children.
    A wonderful site that really does recognise the need for a nation wide regulation and focus to assist parents and education facilities to work together to result in happy, healthy communities.

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