Teaching students about cultural recognition and representation

Dr Johanna Funk participated as a named research participant in the open textbook as social justice project.  Johanna gave her students the option to publish their final Cultural Competence assignment as a book chapter in an open access textbook to be used in subsequent teaching. A mini case-study of her subject is included in the final report’s Appendices.

Another interesting open practice of Johanna’s teaching is the reading list on topics of Cultural Competence.

Since the issues of cultural safety on campus and online continues to be an issue in Higher Education, with Johanna’s permission I’m publishing her reading list – from which students learnt about recognitive and representational justice (ie social justice), white privilege, and how to ‘read’ cultural difference positively. 

There is a focus on how to recognise the strengths and knowledges of Indigenous people, which is useful as a way to think about the contributions of different cultures as well as being aligned to the values of Charles Darwin University (CDU – where Johanna teaches.) 

I’m hoping it might provide inspiration for educators wanting to integrate  recognising different cultural ways of thinking and communicating into their own courses – no matter what the topic.

Cultural competence frameworks helps students read, understand and appreciate things that can feel foreign at first sight.

Closed/open reading list

The reading list Johanna created and which I publish with her permission below, is comprised of 5 closed-access journal articles, 3 open-access articles provided as PDF, and 2 public blog postings. While there are closed access journal articles, online access is provided at no cost for students through the CDU library. Johanna is now coordinating different units and a new staff member is evolving / adding to the list with more additions on gender, settler privilege and historical articles about populations of colour in Australia.

Note for international readers: Australian libraries pay for institutional-wide access to the major databases that provide access to journal articles. Staff and students access these for free through institutional login. Undergraduate student access to readings for their course is typically online and through a digital reading list that links to the various journal articles from within the LMS. Some students choose to purchase paper copies for some texts they rate as crucial – sometimes as a reading on paper preference, and sometimes if they have a perceived weakness on the topic and want all the extra explanation and practice/revision questions.

The reading list

Foundational reading and central conceptual framework:

Martin, K., & Mirraboopa, B. (2003). Ways of knowing, being and doing: A theoretical framework and methods for indigenous and indigenist re‐search. Journal of Australian Studies27(76), 203-214.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14443050309387838  

Weekly readings (1 per week from week 2 until project work starts):

Brewer, M. D. & Gardner, W. (1996)  Who is this ‘We’? Levels of collective identity and self representations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 71(1), Jul, 1996. pp. 83-93. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c1f7/782779d5e692da7ca891f3cc2dd46d97f9b1.pdf

Cummins, J. (2009). Pedagogies of choice: Challenging coercive relations of power in classrooms and communities. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism12(3), 261-271. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13670050903003751   

Aikenhead, G. (1996)  Science Education: Border Crossing into the Subculture of Science  (p 5 -18) retrieved from  https://education.usask.ca/documents/profiles/aikenhead/sse_border.pdf 

McIntosh, P. (1988). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. 


and / or 

Gorski, P. (2014)  Imagining equity literacy [Blog]  https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/imagining-equity-literacy 

Bali, M (2016) Unpacking Terms around equity, power and privilege. [Blog]  https://blog.mahabali.me/pedagogy/critical-pedagogy/unpacking-terms-around-equity-power-and-privilege/ 

Bernstein, R. S., Bulger, M., Salipante, P., & Weisinger, J. Y. (2019). From Diversity to Inclusion to Equity: A Theory of Generative Interactions. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-16. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-019-04180-1 

Bin-Sallik, M.  (2003)    Cultural safety: Let’s name it!. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education32, 21-28. https://search.informit.org/fullText;dn=174480124475805;res=IELIND

Harless, J. (2018). Safe space in the college classroom: contact, dignity, and a kind of publicness. Ethics and Education, 13(3), 329-345.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17449642.2018.1490116

Image credit: Photo by Anna Dickson on Unsplash

Category list: academic practice

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