The potential of critical race theory in decolonizing university curricula
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This paper critiques our experiences as non-Indigenous Australian educators of working with numerous embedding Indigenous perspectives curricular projects at an Australian university. Reporting on these project outcomes alone, while useful in identifying limitations, does not illustrate ways in which future embedding and decolonizing projects can persist and evolve. Deeper analysis is required of the ways in which Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are perceived, and what "embedding" Indigenous Knowledge in university curricula truly means to various educational stakeholders. To achieve a deeper analysis and propose ways to invigorate the continuing decolonization of Australian university curricula, this paper critically interrogates the methodology and conceptualization of Indigenous knowledge in embedding Indigenous perspectives (EIP) in the university curriculum using tenets of critical race theory. Accordingly, we conduct this analysis from the standpoint that EIP should not subscribe to the luxury of independence of scholarship from politics and activism. The learning objective is to create a space to legitimize politics in the intellectual/academic realm. We conclude by arguing that critical race theory's emancipatory, future and action-oriented goals for curricula would enhance effective and sustainable embedding initiatives, and ultimately, preventing such initiatives from returning to the status quo.
Asia Pacific Journal of Education
© 2011 Routledge. This is an electronic version of an article published in Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Volume 31, Issue 4, pages 365-377. Asia Pacific Journal of Education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com with the open URL of your article.