Are we asking the right questions? Why we should have a decolonization discourse based on conscientisation rather than Indigenising the curriculum

Dawn Darlaston-Jones, Heather Herbert, Kelleigh Ryan, Whitney Darlaston-Jones, Jillene Harris, Pat Dudgeon

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Abstract

In this paper, we pose the question of terminology and definitions associated with the concept of an indigenized academy or curriculum. Calls to indigenze the academy or curriculum are implicitly asking for an overlay or inclusion of Indigenous content, preferably by Indigenous peoples, as a mechanism to incorporate histories, traditions, and knowledges that are divergent to the dominant perspective(s). However, we question whether this approach is sufficient as there is no requirement on the part of the dominant group to question their role or position relative to that of Indigenous Australians. Consequently, we ask if it actually changes the norms to deconstruct racial, social, and cultural dominance in the context of colonized spaces. We further question whether such an approach has resulted in greater retention and graduation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. As part of our argument, we offer a critical pedagogical approach of decolonization based on conscientization. This approach to education requires an awareness, acknowledgement, and shift on the part of the dominant group that a monocultural approach to education—irrespective of disciplinary orientation—is harmful to both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community. It further offers the potential for education, and specifically psychology, to create a third space in which substantive reconciliation might occur.

Are We Asking the Right Questions? Why We Should Have a Decolonzing Discourse Based on Conscientization Rather Than Indigenizing the Curriculum (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275644957_Are_We_Asking_the_Right_Questions_Why_We_Should_Have_a_Decolonzing_Discourse_Based_on_Conscientization_Rather_Than_Indigenizing_the_Curriculum [accessed Sep 28, 2017].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-104
Number of pages19
JournalCanadian Journal of Native Education
Volume37
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Grant Number

  • 100748

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