In this unit, theoretical concepts behind post-colonial, decolonising and Indigenous responses to formalised teaching and learning. A historical overview of colonial education provides students with critical language and concepts to make connections to national empire building and the production of colonial identities in compulsory schooling, early childhood education, vocational, adult and higher education. Students investigate how previous colonies of the European empires have sought independence, with focus on post-colonial and Indigenous theorists' descriptions of challenges in decolonising teaching and learning. Considering the key issues of self-determination, sovereignty and the rights of colonised and Indigenous peoples in education, students explore the production of pedagogical and curriculum materials that have embedded Indigenous and post-colonial ways of knowing and knowledge. The contribution of Indigenous and Post-Colonial theorists provides alternative standpoints and critiques of learning and teaching in a 'global' 21st century.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review social and educational philosophies in regard to Indigenous and post-colonial theory;  
  2. Appraise definitions and complexities of colonialism, decolonised, and post-colonial education;  
  3. Elucidate a post-colonial and/or Indigenous professional practice in teaching and learning;  
  4. Explicate and evaluate the complexities of turning policy into local practice;  
  5. Critique historical and current Indigenous Education policies at a local, national and international level; and  
  6. Elucidate a social justice philosophy that considers post-colonial educational theories.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Literature Review Prepare a detailed literature review of key readings within one of the following: self-determination, curriculum methods or knowing and knowledge. 30%
Essay A theoretical essay that critically frames colonialism, post-colonial education and the student's own professional practice. 70%
Total assessment for this unit will be 8,000 words or equivalent.

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