Learning to Live Together in Culturally Diverse Societies of the Pacific: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy – Lester Rigney (Webinar)


In Australia, teacher pedagogy and school curricula has come under recent scrutiny.  Aboriginal learners have not had their curriculum needs met as their schooling outcomes have not improved since 2008. Despite Australia promising to fix this “curriculum alienation”, and improve “teacher pedagogy” its own 9th “Closing the Gap” Report published in 2017 reveal failing on six out of seven key measures including child mortality, early childhood education, school attendance, students’ reading and numeracy (Commonwealth of Australia 2017). Developing responsive teacher pedagogies in schools with high student diversity is a key component of widening participation. Culturally responsive pedagogies have the potential to contribute to creating inclusive cultures and spaces where all students can participate and develop a sense of belonging.

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Learning outcomes

At the completion of the course, you will have an understanding of:

  • The context of Aboriginal Education in Australia and immediate needs of Aboriginal learners.
  • The principle of cultural responsive pedagogies
  • What the Australian curriculum response to Aboriginal learner needs to be – focusing on whether “Aboriginal world views” and the national curriculum can be reconciled.

About the presenters

Professor Lester Rigney is research fellow at Kings College, London. One of Australia’s most respected Aboriginal educationalists, Professor Rigney is a descendant
of the Narungga, Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri peoples of South Australia.

He is an expert on Aboriginal Minority Education. He is Professor of Aboriginal Education at the Centre for Research in Education at University of South Australia. He is best known for his theorisation of Indigenist Research Epistemologies and Aboriginal Education putting him at the forefront for schooling and language rights from 1990s to the 2000s. According to Rigney’s three principles of Indigenist epistemology – schools, teachers and researchers must build community partnerships and embed Aboriginal cultures as driving force for transformative, culturally responsive education. Many teachers and policy writers have been inspired by Rigney’s writings that promotes the idea that culturally responsive schooling is built from the experiences and abilities students bring to class. Professor Rigney has worked across the Pacific on Indigenous Education from New Zealand, Taiwan to Canada.

Professor Rigney is a member of the Foundation Reggio Children – Centro Loris Malaguzzi Scientific Committee

This webinar was part of the South Australian Collaborative Childhood project.
Providing state-wide leadership to strengthen and develop strategic and collaborative partnerships between organisations in order to advocate for children’s rights as citizens from birth.

Additional information

Target audience

Suitable for early childhood education and care workers at all stages of their careers

Estimated duration

60 minutes