University of Technology Sydney

010027 Developing an Indigenised Curriculum

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education
Credit points: 3 cp
Result type: Pass fail, no marks


In this subject, students learn how to develop Indigenous curriculum in tertiary education contexts related to Indigenous Knowledges, perspectives and worldviews. Participants assemble a repository of discipline-specific Indigenous resources and readings that highlight Indigenous scholarship relevant to their discipline area. Approaches to developing appropriate and quality assessments and evaluations are also considered through the subject. Students also explore how to facilitate difficult conversations to promote safety in the classroom.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Evaluate discipline specific Indigenous research, readings and resources emphasising Indigenous(-led) scholarship.
b. Apply creativity in the design of discipline relevant Indigenous curriculum in tertiary education contexts relating to Indigenous knowledges, perspectives and worldviews.
c. Create an Indigenous curriculum assessment task.
d. Develop a repertoire of tools to facilitate and manage difficult conversations to promote classroom safety.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject outline addresses the following Graduate Attributes:

Professional Readiness

1.2 make informed decisions about teaching, subject design and assessment

Critical and Creative Inquiry

2.1 critically inquire, reflect on, and evaluate teaching and subject design

2.2 apply creativity when designing learning experiences

Indigenous competencies

4.1 have the cultural competency to work with indigenous communities to embed Australian first

people’s knowledges and perspectives in their disciplinary subjects

Effective Communication

6.2 listen, accept and apply feedback, and find opportunities for further learning when faced with

teaching challenges

Teaching and learning strategies

Teaching in this subject will occur fully online through UTSCanvas. Student learning and curiosity will be guided by a set of structured, self-paced, interactive activities in the course modules. This online content will be complemented by independent student reading and participation in online discussion.The subject has an introductory module designed to ensure that all learners have a base level of understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Learners will have access to teaching staff through email and regular student hours when students can meet with staff in person or by phone. Students will participate in a total of approximately 75 hours of learning, including approximately 40 hours of self-study, 10 hours of supported study and 25 hours for assessments. The subject appears on the short teaching sessions calendar.

Content (topics)

This subject is focused on the development of learner capability to prepare Indigenous curriculum relevant to their discipline. Topics will include how to distinguish Indigenous led resources, avoiding deficit approaches, creating rich assessments and how to get started. We will also consider how to manage difficult conversations and the role those conversations play in learning. The associated issue of classroom safety, for teachers and student will be discussed.


Assessment task 1: Discipline Specific Indigenous Assessment Task


a, b and c

Weight: 50%

800 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
a. Depth of understanding of Indigenous curriculum principles 40 a 4.1
b. Indigenous focus of learning materials 40 a, b .2
c. Creativity and relevance of assessment task 20 b, c .2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Difficult discussion faciliation


a, b and d

Weight: 50%

800 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
a. Depth of reference to relevant literature 40 a, b 4.1
b. Breadth of consideration of safety for participants 35 b, d .2
c. Degree of relevance and creativity of the activity 25 b 2.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Required texts

There are no required texts for this subject. Recommended readings will be available via UTS Canvas.


Bessarab, D; Green, S; Jones, V; Stratton, K; Young; Zubrzycki, J. (2014). Getting it Right: Creating partnerships for Change. Integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges in social work education and practice. Teaching and Learning Framework. Sydney: Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

Bolton, J., & Andrews, S. (2017). Indigenous place and space for teaching Indigenous health to physiotherapy students ‘ I learned more than from any lecture ’, Physical Therapy Reviews, 1–5.

Collins-Gearing, B., & Smith, R. (2016). Burning Off: Indigenising the Discipline of English. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 45(02), 159–169.

Dudgeon, P., & Walker, R. (2015). Decolonising Australian Psychology: Discourses, Strategies, and Practice. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 3(1), 276–297.

Hook, G. (2012). Towards a decolonising pedagogy: Understanding Australian Indigenous studies through critical whiteness theory and film pedagogy. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 41(2), 110–119.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1998). Just what is critical race theory and what’s it doing in a nice field like education? International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11(1), 7–24.

Matthews, C., Hill, B., Hill, A., Cadet_James,Y., & Elston, J. (2016). Facilitating a whole of university approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curriculum Development : Leadership Frameworks for Cultural Partnerships. Final Report. Sydney: Australian Council for Educational Research.

McLaughlin, J. M., & Whatman, S. L. (2008). Embedding university perspectives in university teaching and learning: Lessons learnt and possibilities for reforming/decolonising curriculum. In Indigenous education: Asia/Pacific (pp. 123-146). Indigenous Studies Research Centre, First Nations University of Canada.

Power, T., Virdun, C., Sherwood, J., Parker, N., Van Balen, J., Gray, J. & Jackson, D. (2016). REM : A Collaborative Framework for Building Indigenous Cultural Competence. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27 (5), 439-446.

Sjoberg, D., & McDermott, D. (2016). The deconstruction exercise: An assessment tool for enhancing critical thinking in cultural safety education. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 9(1), 28–48.