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Developing cohesive & inclusive pedagogical narratives in the translation and transmittance of curriculum

Workshops 2 and 3 | Greg Vass and Sara Weuffen | Friday 24th of June - 4.15pm | Terrace Room


For decades non-Indigenous teachers have expressed concerns with how to effectively and meaningfully weave First Nations content into classroom learning activities. In part, this is due to anxieties with intercultural dynamics and communication, such as the fear of not wanting to offend or getting it ‘wrong’. Further impacting on this, there have been inclusive approaches that all too often result in tokenism and stereotypical understandings. This observation should not overlook the good intentions and effort from many educators and community members that have worked to change this pattern. However, these forays have generally resulted in impacts with limited transferability or sustainability for many. Despite this, there is currently a groundswell of support for initiatives that are underpinned by principles of co-design, and this is occurring within a broader context of truth-telling and calls for reparative actions that seek to combat such hamstringing positions, with the Uluru Statement from the Heart, renewed emphasis on Treaty, and the Voice to Parliament visible in this regard. In this combined workshop, the presenters and educators from a school participating in the Culturally Nourishing Schooling project talk about initiatives occurring in 8 NSW schools that are moving in this direction. More specifically, we will explore one strategy from the project which involves teachers and Cultural Mentors engaging in curriculum work together with a view to localising teaching and learning in ways that are grounded in, on, and with Country. Accompanying the reflections shared by teachers, the workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to engage with the analytical tools that are utilised for professional learning in the project.  

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Presenter Bios

Dr Greg Vass | Senior Leader of Teacher Education, QLD

Dr Greg Vass came into research provoked by significant changes in high school education, which were in part triggered with the introduction of standardised assessments and his involvement in professional learning related to Indigenous education. His PhD was a school-based autoethnography, analysing discursive practices with a view to understanding the reproduction of race, and the ways that schooling contributes to making race meaningful in the lives of learners.

Dr Sara Weuffen | UNSW, Teaching Coach

Dr. Sara Weuffen is a specialist of cross-cultural education, in particular, non-Indigenous Australian's engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She has a proven track record of strategically leading multi-disciplinary teams to critique current practices and envision transformational possibilities of more culturally respectful and responsive pedagogies, organisations, and societies.

To action this endeavour, post-qualitative research methods, including Poststructuralist theory, Indigenous Standpoint Theory, and Critical Social Theory are employed to revise and enhance cross-cultural relations, knowledge, pedagogical practices, professional development, and further research

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