Decolonising Australian History Education ISBN 9781032564548


In stock

About this item


Rebecca Cairns, Aleryk Fricker, Ann Slater, Carolyn Briggs, Danielle Hradsky, Karen Anderson, Kate Harvie, Kerri Anne Garrard, Lucinda McKnight , Mati Keynes, Sara Weuffen , Will King








228 pages


print book



This book is the first of its kind to showcase a range of fresh and expert perspectives on decolonising history education in Australia. The research-informed chapters by First Nations and non-Indigenous educators and scholars provide guidance on applying practical strategies for decolonising learning and teaching, and moving beyond the ‘history wars’.

History has long been the most contentious area of education in Australia. This book tackles the narrow and overtly politicised ‘history wars’ debates and foregrounds the need to re-examine impacts of settler-colonialism on Australia’s history. First-hand knowledge and much-needed teaching practices are presented, demonstrating how decolonisation can be put into action through Australian history education. The chapters present a range of perspectives from the early years right through to higher education settings and argues that there is an increased need for greater awareness, appreciation, and willingness to explore and engage with multiple narratives of truth-telling that are so often contested. Readers are guided to discover how this translates to classroom practice through unique, provocative, and research-informed strategies that foreground applied decolonising approaches.

Combining theoretical perspectives and practical ideas, this book is an essential resource to support pre- and in-service teachers, in all education contexts, in navigating the decolonisation of Australian history education. This makes it an important contribution to local, as well as global, decolonising efforts.


Table of Contents

1. The thin veneer of ‘the history wars’ on unceded lands | Aleryk Fricker, Rebecca Cairns and Sara Weuffen
2. Truth commissions, transitional justice, and history education | Mati Keynes
3. “Peeling off the final scab of thinking that everything’s fine”: Exposing the poison of Australian education’s colonising history through drama-based learning | Danielle Hradsky
4. Challenging the Great Australian Silence | Aleryk Fricker
5. Positionality: The foundational threshold concept for decolonising teaching practices | Sara Weuffen
6. Learning, unlearning, and relearning history in an early childhood education | Carolyn Briggs, Karen Anderson and Ann Slater
7. “Mummy, what did YOU do in the history wars?” White teachers decolonising Australian curriculum… and themselves | Lucinda McKnight
8. Acknowledging First Nations perspectives in primary schools | Kate Harvie
9. Doing intercultural history: A framework for history teachers | Kerri Anne Garrard
10. Examining invasion and possession narratives through Asia-related history | Rebecca Cairns
11. Decolonising the teaching of local history  | Will King
12. Decolonial futures for history in Australian schools | Sara Weuffen, Rebecca Cairns and Aleryk Fricker

About the Editors

Rebecca Cairns lives and works on Wadawurrung Country as a non-Indigenous researcher and senior lecturer at the Deakin University School of Education. Prior to this, she taught in secondary schools. Her curriculum inquiry research examines the complexities of how we do curriculum, focusing on history education, studies of Asia, and decolonising practices.

Aleryk Fricker is a proud Dja Dja Wurrung academic. His research focus is on Indigenous Education and decolonising education practices in Australia to enable all students in Australia to benefit from accessing the oldest pedagogies and teaching knowledges in the world.

Sara Weuffen is a teacher-researcher expert in cross/intercultural education between First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous people in Australia. As a non-Indigenous woman born on Gundijtmara Country (Warrnambool) and living on Wadawurrung Country (Ballarat), she specialises in supporting other non-Indigenous people to develop critical consciousness via curriculum analysis and pedagogical enhancement.