Hagan, Rhonda and Huijser, Hendrik (2008) Are the sciences indigenisable? Of course they are! In: 2nd Annual Psychology and Indigenous Australians: Teaching, Practice and Theory Conference, 14-15 July 2008, Adelaide, Australia.
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Official URL: http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/pia
[Abstract]: When embarking on an Indigenising the curriculum project across all faculties, a number of barriers need to be overcome. Some of these are systemic in that such a project is often seen as desirable by university hierarchies, but is rarely backed up by adequate resources to make a serious impact. In other words, mere lip service tends to be paid to Indigenising the curriculum, which manifests itself in the employment of a single Indigenous academic, often on a contract basis, to take on this enormous task. The second barrier is more subtle, and relates to a strong perception that such a project lends itself more to some faculties and disciplines than others. This perception is based on deeply ingrained stereotypes about what constitutes 'Indigenous issues'. Within such perceptions, Arts is seen as 'naturally' more open to Indigenising its curriculum, because of the 'cultural component', while it is often seen as irrelevant to for example the sciences. This paper will address both these barriers and discuss how they are interlinked and reinforce each other, while arguing that Indigenising the curriculum requires a systemic and ongoing commitment to be truly effective.
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