This paper is based on research conducted with indigenous students at a university in the Northern Territory. It examines crosscultural theories of education which explain the problems of teaching and learning in indigenous contexts in terms of the cultural mismatch between the home and school environment. These theories position the teacher as the condition of knowledge and learning in so far as he or she is responsible for transmitting the knowledge and skills to students. The teacher's methodology becomes the means through which students learn. But in the context of indigenous education, in positioning indigenous students in relation to a non-indigenous teacher's methodology, crosscultural theories of education unconsciously perpetuate an unequal historical relation in the university classroom. The paper concludes that good teaching and learning at university are not only a consequence of a good methodology but the product of an unconscious influence of the teacher's style upon the student; the crucial factor that brings the two together is how the pedagogue speaks.