Country teaches

The significance of the local in the Australian history curriculum

Neil Harrison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Country teaches: The significance of the local in the Australian history curriculum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this