Jay Phillips

Jay PhillipsAssociate Professor Jay Phillips

Indigenising curriculum: challenges and opportunities



When faced with integrating Indigenous Australian content there are several enduring myths that are maintained by curriculum writers and teachers whether they work with pre-schoolers or university students: The swollen curriculum, one that is too full to fit another thing … especially Indigenous Australian content; notions of disciplinary irrelevance – “There is no need for Indigenous perspectives in accountancy”; and, not feeling qualified to develop, let alone, teach Indigenous Australian content. Each of these myths relies on an outdated understanding of what content refers to.  In this presentation, diverse models for considering and integrating Indigenous Australian content will be discussed.


About the presenter

Dr. Jay Phillips is a Wakka Wakka Gooreng Gooreng woman and educator from southeast Queensland. Originally educated as a primary school teacher, she has been teaching, researching, and advocating for Indigenous students and communities in universities for over 20 years.  She is particularly interested in the interaction between Indigenous knowledge systems and western colonial traditions with regard to colonial identity construction and intellectual authority, and teaching for optimal learning in contested spaces.

She completed her PhD in 2011. Her thesis, Resisting Contradictions, investigated the resistance of non-Indigenous students to compulsory Indigenous studies and examined how these students managed their learning, and articulated shifts in this resistance.

Jay has presented nationally and internationally on curriculum development for face-to-face and online contexts in universities. She has also taught and presented on Indigenous and Indigenist research methodologies, and the ways in which Indigenist pedagogies can mobilise student resistance to deepen learning by authorising Indigenous peoples and knowledges as empowered subjects, rather than objects.