Indigenous Issues and a Curriculum for Social Justice

Gary Fry

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In this chapter we are interested in exploring the complex issue of equality and social justice in a democratic education. Our purpose is to approach the topic of education for Indigenous people in a way that acknowledges the fragility of our human relationships and the uncertainty and tentative nature of working in democratic spaces. Our intention is to interrupt your understanding of taken-for-granted notions of equality and social justice, and we employ a postcolonial theoretical perspective in order to engender a sensitive approach to these issues in relation to the Australian Curriculum. We introduce the colonial nature of a 'democratic' education, understood as a process through which those who are not yet part of democracy are included in it. That is, people considered to be 'inside' and already democratic determine who will be included and who will be excluded.2 Jacques Ranciere has argued that a claim from the outside based on a perception of injustice is a claim made in the name of equality. 'Those who make the claim do not simply want to be included in the existing order, they want to redefine the order in such a way that new identities, new ways of doing and being become possible.'3 A democratic education then becomes a process of transformation in the name of equality. To engage in discussion of these issues we look at the relationships between our colonial heritage, education policy making in Australia and the necessary struggle for a socially just curriculum.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnderstanding Curriculum
    Subtitle of host publicationThe Australian context
    Place of PublicationMelbourne
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)978-1-107-63931-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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