Country as pedagogical: enacting an Australian foundation for culturally responsive pedagogy

Neil Harrison*, Iliana Skrebneva

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) has become a driving force for change in North America and New Zealand and is gaining some recognition in Indigenous education in Australia. But as a model of learning and teaching, it cannot be imported unproblematically into Australian schools, wherein the past Indigenous students have had limited success. Given that Country is positioned in the Australian Curriculum as a priority concept, we investigate how it might be leveraged as a foundation of CRP. We conduct a review of the international and Australian literature in order to identify research studies that provide evidence of clear links between Learning from Country as a pedagogical approach in school-based education and improved learning outcomes. Results of the review demonstrate that using Country as a 'teacher' of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures enacts a sense of belonging for students. As intrinsically pedagogical, Country enacts the seasons, the direction of winds, tides, light and sun. Country presents in the review of literature as a solid foundation for thinking beyond the cultural backgrounds of students, and beyond accusations of cultural assimilation, to position both Indigenous and western epistemologies at the centre of the Australian Curriculum.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-26
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • culturally responsive pedagogy
    • Indigenous
    • Learning from Country
    • belonging
    • representation
    • Culturally responsive pedagogy

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