This paper will report on preliminary findings in curriculum design and pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning in a mandatory Indigenous Education subject taught through the Koori Centre, University of Sydney. Key challenges faced by the lecturers are how to best frame the content, often interpreted as being controversial and biased, to encourage students to be receptive to alternative ways of thinking and doing and extend their knowledge of this field. To this end, lecturers attempt to create culturally safe learning environments and assessment processes that engage students in a critically reflective process that can be modeled in their own classrooms.
Given the crucial role of quality learning environments in reducing education gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, it is imperative that we examine ways to better prepare future teachers to be effective educators of Indigenous students. Determining how these issues can be addressed is a matter of social justice for Indigenous students. The theoretical approaches of pedagogical content knowledge, dialogic inquiry and critical pedagogies were used to analyse the preliminary findings in this study to illuminate what is and isn’t working in an Indigenous education context.
|Keywords:||Indigenous Studies, Higher Education, Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Dialogic Inquiry, Critical Pedagogy|
Lecturer in Indigenous Studies, Koori Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Lecturer in Education, Koori Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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