Decolonising the Curriculum, Decolonising Ourselves: Experiences of Teaching in and from the ‘Third Space’

Antonia Hendrick, Susan Marian Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a framework for practice and teaching and learning about becoming an Ally in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Two social work educators reflect on their own personal and professional journeys towards becoming Allies and what they have used to construct a teaching and learning framework for use with social work students. Three main works contribute to this framework: Bishop’s (2002) Becoming an Ally, Land’s (2015) Decolonising Solidarity, and Singleton and Hays’ (2008) “Courageous
Conversations about Race”. The paper firstly presents the argument for taking an Ally position in decolonising the curriculum, before describing the authors’ own journeys towards being Allies. A critical examination follows in which a framework for Ally work is described and subsequently discussed through illustration of their experiences in the classroom. The paper concludes with some key reflections on the learnings from these processes which re-affirm the underpinning of ethical practice as being both self-rule and self-formation indicating that this work is founded on a critical awareness of self which is essential to the joint relational project of decolonisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Social Work and Welfare Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2017


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