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Australian Indigenous Studies

Research and Practice

Terry Moore, Carol Pybus, Mitchell Rolls and David Moltow

This book provides a guide to research and teaching in an Australian Indigenous Studies that is oriented toward the diverse, contemporary world. Central to this perspective is a sensibility to the intercultural complexity of that world – particularly its Indigenous component – and an awareness of the interactional capabilities that the Indigenous (and others) need to successfully negotiate it. These capabilities are important for facilitating Indigenous peoples’ goal of equality as citizens and recognition as Indigenous, a goal which this book seeks to address.

The Indigenous Studies presented in this book rejects as unproductive the orientation of orthodox Indigenous Studies, which promulgates the retention of old cultures, positive stereotypes, binary oppositions and false certainties. It adopts a more dialogical and process-oriented approach that highlights interactions and relationships and leads to the recognition of cultural and identity multiplicity, intersection and ambiguous difference.

The book covers key topics such as ancestral cultures, colonisation and its impacts, identity politics, interculturality, intersectionality, structural marginalisation, unit development and teaching complexity. The focus of the book is the development of a sensibility that can shape readers’ perceptions, decisions and actions in the future and guide teachers in their negotiation of intercultural classroom relationships.

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Chapter 7: Indigenous Studies learning sequences

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CHAPTER 7

Indigenous Studies learning sequences

Introduction

In the previous chapter we proposed that it was possible to reconcile the differences between the orthodox national and an intercultural Indigenous Studies. In this chapter we focus on the development of learning sequences – units of work – for the latter Indigenous Studies. We take some sample units as models and use them to explore the processes and principles involved. The samples include two from the Torres Strait and one from central Australia, and a number developed by pre-service teacher trainees centred on Tasmania. While those from the Torres Strait and central Australia are not dedicated to Indigenous Studies outcomes, they indicate the key features of such units. The student units are specifically designed for Indigenous Studies. We finish with a critical evaluation of two commercially available units, one based on the book The Rabbits and another on the film Contact. We suggest refinements intended to enhance their contribution to the intercultural sensibility.

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