APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

Studio News > Article

Toward an Australian Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Posted by Team APATA | Oct 28, 2021

According to the University of South Australia’s 2019 project: Toward an Australian Culturally Responsive Pedagogy the Australian classroom has changed and we need to change with it.

Culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP), an approach to schooling that originated in the context of African American educational disadvantage, has shown promising outcomes among marginalised student populations internationally, yet has received very little attention in Australian educational policy or practice. To date, there is no substantial theoretically informed and empirically substantiated Australian version of CRP available to Australian educators working in schools, or to those preparing new teachers.

Authors Anne Morrison, Lester-Irabinna Rigney, Robert Hattam and Abigail Diplock’s investigation formed around two rationale:

1. Improving learning outcomes for Indigenous students: international problem especially for Pan Pacific settler colonial countries.

2. Learning to Live in Culturally Diverse Societies: increasingly culturally diverse societies and superdiverse classrooms.

The sorts of pedagogies we are working on—enacting a local interpretation of culturally responsive pedagogies—not only has to work for the Indigenous students, but also cater for the super-diversity emerging in Australian school classrooms. In parallel then, a second rationale justifies CRP in response to increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of Australian society and the reality of superdiversity of the student cohort in public school classrooms. And whilst it is possible to argue that Australia should be considered as a hopeful global example for building an economically successful and socially cohesive nation that is culturally diverse, we are dealing with significant tensions related to increasing cultural diversity.

The website www.culturallyresponsivepegagogy.com.au has an incredible range of resources to explore.

The resource maps the national and international literature from settler colonial countries for rationales, theories and descriptions of practice for CRP. It identifies current understandings of CRP in order to advance theorisations and consider its potential in the Australian context. While the emphasis is on the educational experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, it is argued that under the current conditions of super-diversity in Australian classrooms, CRP offers a hopeful approach to improving the educational experiences of all students.

Sign Up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about the latest news and events.

Sign Up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about the latest news and events.