Decolonising Preservice Teacher Education - reform at many cultural interfaces.

Phillips, Jean & Whatman, Susan L. (2007) Decolonising Preservice Teacher Education - reform at many cultural interfaces. In The World of Educational Quality: 2007 AERA Annual Meeting, April 9-13, 2007, Chicago, United States of America. (Unpublished)


This paper reflects a long journey of collaborative policy and curriculum reform; the reform of many of the colonised spaces within which we work in higher education. The inclusion of Indigenous knowledges in higher education for many years has been positioned as an equity or social justice issue, or as "study about" Indigenous peoples within unchallenged, colonial disciplinary spaces.

To embrace, centralise and embed Indigenous knowledges as a core feature of the curriculum at an Australian university, and particularly in the education of preservice teachers, a strategic, unique Indigenous pedagogy needed to be recognised and justified at a policy level, promoted and embraced at the teaching staff level, and implemented in the pre-service teacher education classroom through a compulsory unit called 'Culture Studies: Indigenous Education'

Given the always evolving nature of these fields, and sometimes intersecting, sometimes parallel positioning in relation to each other this reform may be described as a continuing series of dialogues at many cultural interfaces (Nakata, 2002). The paper provides an overview of the pathway that "Culture Studies: Indigenous Education" at QUT has taken thus far and details aspects of the critical pedagogy employed to enable students to reveal to themselves the underlying conflict that is often present when studying Others, and to challenge student resistance should it arise in relation to their experience of other perspectives on the world. There are now approximately 900 students who are required to take this subject as part of the pre-service teacher education, the majority of which self-identify as 'normal' Australians. In each year, there have been less than 20 Indigenous Australian students. We conclude this paper with selected responses to the pedagogy from both students and teaching staff.

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ID Code: 7333
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Curriculum reform, Indigenous education, teacher education, cultural identity, Indigenous knowledge, HERN
ISSN: 0163-9676
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 03 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:40

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