Churchill Fellowship

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    To discover innovative methods for embedding Indigenous content and teaching into psychology degrees.

    Key findings


    Step 1: Course Convenor selects Indigenous Content
    a) Select content that satisfies the graduate attributes recommended by AIPEP Curriculum Framework report (pages 18–21). For example, a specific graduate attribute (with keywords bolded) is that students develop an “Understand[ing] that constructions of ‘normality’ are culturally, socially and historically situated”.

    b) Enter the keyword/s into the searchable, AIPEP-compiled resource database. For example, search the keyword “culture” in the AIPEP resource database. You can filter the results by category (e.g., ethics, Indigenous psychology) and type (e.g., academic units, assessment) of information required. Other searchable resources are provided in the Resources section of this report.

    Step 2: Content Reviewed and Approved
    If possible, have the content you plan to embed reviewed and supported by an Indigenous Australian. Most large universities have an Indigenous strategy unit (or Indigenous department) and part of their role is to provide advice on curricula content. It is important to establish a connection with colleagues before offering extra work. Moreover, offer or ask how you may be able to reciprocate the work asked of others.

    If you cannot have the content and perspectives reviewed by colleagues within your institution who are Indigenous, you could alternatively ask colleagues within your department or across Australia, Indigenous departments at other universities or non-Indigenous alleys. Again, consider how you may reciprocate the work asked of others.

    Step 3: Deliver the Course
    After having the Indigenous content and perspectives reviewed and approved, deliver the course to students. A key priority is to ensure all teaching staff are culturally competent, that is, they have completed face-to-face and/or on-line training to certify a knowledge of and sensitivity to the experiences of Indigenous Australians. Ensuring educators are confident with content they teach and that they can respond appropriately to any questions is of critical importance. While most universities conduct internal cultural safety training, the Resources section lists various options.

    For non-Indigenous teaching staff, you may find the following tips useful from Dr David Gaertner, a Settler who works at the University of British Columbia. First, acknowledge you are a non-Indigenous person and the knowledge you have is not from lived experience as an Indigenous person. Second, acknowledge that there may be Indigenous students present who may choose to contribute, or NOT, and that is okay. Finally, acknowledge you are continually learning and happy to be corrected if a mistake is made.

    Step 4: Course Review and Content Update
    a) Determine how the course was received by asking students to review the course. Most universities have standardised assessment questions, but asking specific review questions about the Indigenous content is highly recommended. Feedback from Indigenous students is of particular importance so if an anonymous review is conducted, provide an option to indicate one’s identity.

    b) Integrate constructive feedback into an updated version of the course before delivering it a second time. Any significant changes to the course may benefit from returning to Step 2 and having the course content reviewed and approved again.
    Effective start/end date1/06/1822/10/18