Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


When Content Gets in the Way: Teaching Australian Indigenous Studies

Leah Lui-Chivizhe, Katrina Thorpe.

This seminar discusses the fusion of Indigenous knowledges with social justice pedagogy to create pathways and processes that transform teaching and learning in Australian Indigenous Studies.

We reflect on our experiences in teaching Australian Indigenous Studies to a diverse group of undergraduate students over the last five years. In an effort to address the omission of Indigenous histories our teaching focus has inadvertently been content driven. It became very obvious to us that information alone was getting in the way of learning.

In reflecting on student learning we have come to recognise there are interconnecting tensions between the nature of the content, teaching practice and student reactions to us as Indigenous lecturers. Dealing with the resulting tensions required a deeper consideration of learning pathways and processes. As Indigenous educators it is important for us to give greater space to Indigenous frameworks whilst drawing on 'Western' knowledge bases.

We will explore how Indigenous knowledges and social justice pedagogy can facilitate personal and social transformation.


Leah Lui-Chivizhe  (Australia)
Lecturer in Indigenous Australian History and Cultural Studies
Koori Centre
University of Sydney

Leah has worked in the area of adult education and training for the last fifteen years and currently lectures in Indigenous Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include migration and identity construction, responding to racism and intercultural communication and Indigenous research methodologies

Katrina Thorpe  (Australia)
Lecturer in Education and Indigenous Australian History
Koori Centre
University of Sydney

Katrina is from the Worimi Aboriginal nation, Australia. She has been involved in Aboriginal education for approximately 10 years. She has taught Indigenous perspectives across a wide range of disciplines and lectures at the University of Sydney. Her interests include anti-racism and social justice education, Australian history and promoting the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives across all areas of education.

  • Indigenous
  • Social Justice Pedagogy
  • Learning Pathways
  • Tensions in Learning

(30 min Conference Paper, English)