Sharing knowledge, sharing experience, sharing power

Document Type


Publication details

Woods, G & Biermann, S 2009, 'Sharing knowledge, sharing experience, sharing power', Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, vol. 12, no. 1-4, pp. 116-131.

Peer Reviewed



There is an urgent need to move the dialogue about Indigenous education beyond short-sighted ethnocentric curriculum development and policy making that continues to marginalise Indigenous teaching philosophies and practices. The United Nations support the rights of Indigenous peoples to not only access education but to also determine the nature and the process of that educational experience. The significance and outcomes of this right need to be incorporated into education design, development and delivery in Australia. In order to establish truly collaborative Australian education processes the value of Indigenous ways of teaching, relating and experiencing must be recognised and respected within the nation’s mainstream education systems and institutions. Only then will all Australians have the opportunity to access and experience Indigenous philosophies, values and processes as they relate to learning at personal, family and community levels. In this paper we want to explore and highlight via seminar presentation, the potential for Indigenous teaching and learning processes to make a unique and valuable contribution to the depth, sophistication and quality of the tertiary learning experience. In doing this we will explore how Indigenous and non Indigenous teaching staff and students are able to draw on Indigenous philosophies, values and traditions that may challenge, contradict and subvert the dominant paradigms established within the institution. This allows all participants to engage in the process of reflecting on their own values and traditions whilst consciously contributing to the development of outcomes that continue to strengthen and highlight the importance of sharing experience, knowledge and power.

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