A cultural–historical model to inform culturally responsive pedagogies: case studies of educational practices in Solomon Islands and Australia

Yeshe Colliver*, Libby Lee-Hammond

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The goal of education is often considered to be emancipation and empowerment. Yet, the capacity for education to emancipate and empower can be hindered when approaches and assumptions are not shared by all the participants in an education context. This is particularly true in contexts where one set of cultural assumptions and traditions have been forced onto another, such as in the process of colonisation. This chapter provides case studies of two contexts where colonisation has had an impact on the approaches to education: in an Indigenous community in Yamatji Country in Western Australia and another in Temotu Province in Solomon Islands. In both contexts, European-heritage approaches to learning have been forced onto Indigenous cultures with little understanding of, or cultural responsiveness to, the Indigenous communities themselves. These case studies are presented through the lens of Hedegaard’s (2009) model of perspectives, with the aim of illustrating why the approach used in one context has been achieved in a more culturally responsive manner than the other. Through adaptations to the model itself, this chapter seeks to explain how two educational approaches may be successful or unsuccessful in incorporating Indigenous traditions and knowledge. The descriptive power of the model also allows us to reconceptualise these existing tensions and reimagine more responsive future adaptations. We explore the utility of the adapted model for articulating the assumptions and approaches at play, and for providing potential ways forward. These ways forward facilitate a re-imagination of education as something more than mere preparation of children for workforce participation. We argue that the model proffers ways to provide equal respect for, and emphasis on, different cultures and traditions. It also provides ways to document and understand different cultures, with scope to learn from them in our endeavour to improve educational provision. In a world where the functionalist push to improve education is globalising and frequently silences or overlooks local knowledge, the authors contend that local communities should be central rather than peripheral to the curriculum. When this occurs, it is possible to reimagine ways in which pedagogy can emancipate and empower all members of the society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCulture in education and education in culture
    Subtitle of host publicationtensioned dialogues and creative constructions
    EditorsPernille Hviid, Mariann Märtsin
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030284121
    ISBN (Print)9783030284114
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Publication series

    NameCultural Psychology of Education
    ISSN (Print)2364-6780
    ISSN (Electronic)2364-6799


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