Teaching Matters

Poster 8a

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Using peer collaborative engagement to bring a decolonising lens to teaching practice


Kim McLeod, School of Social Sciences


Excellent teaching is founded on and contributes to scholarship

Presentation Type



Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre Foyer




There are growing calls for curriculum and teaching practice to be informed by decolonised perspectives (Smith, 2012; Tuck & Yang 2012; Walter & Baltra-Ulloa, 2016). However, what this means in practical terms needs to be explored and articulated. This poster proposes peer collaborative learning and sharing processes as an effective way to support academics to do this kind of work. We are a small group of non-Aboriginal teachers who deliver a unit about cultural safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing to health profession students.

We outline how reflective writing about our teaching practices, and iterative group conversation, enabled ways of relating to each other which created a ‘productive space’. This space supported co-learning processes where: vulnerability became a tool for learning; we could explore the complexity of our racial identities, and we could bring compassion to bear on the challenges associated with this kind of teaching.

We argue our collaborative engagement with each other in this productive, relational space, enabled us to bring a decolonising lens to the doing of our teaching. The poster discusses the implications of resourcing the forms of sociability and emotional support teachers require to bring a decolonising lens to teaching practice.


Tuhiwai Smith, L. (2012). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, 2nd Ed, Zed Books. 

Tuck, E. and Yang, K. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1 (1) pp. 1-40. 

Walter, M.M., Baltra-Ulloa, A.J. (2016). The Race Gap: An Indigenous Perspective on Whiteness, Colonialism and Social Work in Australia’’ Social Dialogue, 4, (15) pp. 29-3

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