PEARLs, Problems and Politics: Exploring Findings From Two Teaching and Learning Projects in Indigenous Australian Studies at The University of Queensland


  • Elizabeth Mackinlay The University of Queensland
  • Katelyn Barney The University of Queensland



transformative education, Indigenous Studies, PEARL


This article explores the implementation of PEARL (Political, Embodied, Active, and Reflective Learning) in two courses at The University of Queensland: a first-year introductory Indigenous Studies course and a second year Indigenous Education course. We draw on findings from a 2-year (2010–2011) Office for Learning and Teaching (then ALTC) funded curriculum renewal project and findings from a pilot project (2013) implementing PEARL in a compulsory Indigenous Education course for all pre-service teacher educators in primary and secondary teacher training at The University of Queensland. Drawing transformative education theory into conversation with critical pedagogy and anti-colonial/racist education, we share student data from focus groups, questionnaires and reflective journals to examine the shift in students’ understanding of Indigenous issues, histories and peoples. Finally, we reflect on the ways the results hold great potential for the further implementation of PEARL into other university level courses, specifically in relation to a ‘pedagogy of solidarity’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.


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How to Cite

Mackinlay, E., & Barney, K. (2014). PEARLs, Problems and Politics: Exploring Findings From Two Teaching and Learning Projects in Indigenous Australian Studies at The University of Queensland. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 43(1), 31–41.




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