Beyond social justice agendas: Indigenous knowledges in pre-service teacher education and practice in Australia

McLaughlin, Juliana M. & Whatman, Susan L. (2015) Beyond social justice agendas: Indigenous knowledges in pre-service teacher education and practice in Australia. In Napier, Diane Brook (Ed.) International Perspectives on Race (and Racism): Historical and Contemporary Considerations in Education and Society. NOVA Science Publishers, New York, pp. 1-19.

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The space and positioning of Indigenous knowledges (IK) within Australian curricula and pedagogy are often contentious, informed by the broader Australian socio-cultural, political and economic landscape. Against changing educational policy, historically based on the myth of terra nullius, we discuss the shifting priorities for embedding Indigenous knowledges in educational practice in university and school curricula and pedagogy. In this chapter, we argue that personal and professional commitment to social justice is an important starting point for embedding Indigenous knowledges in the Australian school curricula and pedagogy.

Developing teacher knowledge around embedding IK is required to enable teachers’ preparedness to navigate a contested historical/colonising space in curriculum decision-making, teaching and learning. We draw one mpirical data from a recent research project on supporting pre-service teachers as future curriculum leaders; the project was funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT).

This project aimed to support future curriculum leaders to develop their knowledge of embedding IK at one Australian university. We propose supporting the embedding of IK in situ with pre-service teachers and their supervising teachers on practicum in real, sustained and affirming ways that shifts the recognition of IK from personal commitment to social justice in education, to one that values Indigenous knowledges as content to educate (Connell, 1993). We argue that sustained engagement with and appreciation of IKhas the potential to decolonise Australian curricula, shift policy directions and enhance race relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians .

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ID Code: 87831
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Indigenous knowledges, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preservice teachers, Indigenous education, social justice, Indigenous teacher education, HERN
ISBN: 9781634831536
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 NOVA Science Publishers
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2015 23:20
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 04:26

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