Country teaches: The significance of the local in the Australian history curriculum

Neil Harrison*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    This article develops the case for a greater focus on the teaching of local histories in the Australian Curriculum: History. It takes as its starting point an Indigenous epistemology that understands knowledge to be embedded in the land. This connection between knowledge and country is used to examine recent literature on whether the teaching of history in schools can succeed in the context of the new Australian history curriculum. Various proposals from academics to develop a framework that can be used to select appropriate content and approaches to teaching history in Australia are explored. It questions whether a geographically dispersed and diverse body of students can ever be engaged with knowledge that is often taught far from the place of its making. This article eschews the traditional concepts used by historians to teach and interpret history, in order to observe how the country can teach the student.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)214-224
    Number of pages11
    JournalAustralian Journal of Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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