10. Teach students to 'walk in the shoes of others'

Several of the academics interviewed spoke of wanting to teach students to engage with perspectives new to them by means of 'walking in the shoes of others'. As the creative exemplars below illustrate, some of the most effective approaches to doing this include role play, immersion and simulations. Such activities may be highly complex, conducted over a whole semester, and involve students doing their own research. Others may be structured into a single class session. In every case, however, careful planning is needed to ensure effective learning.

10.1 'My role is to put them in different shoes - not just the shoes of an Indigenous person, but say, the shoes of a curator wondering "How do I add to my Indigenous collection?" or the shoes of someone in the audience of an Indigenous hip-hop gig.' (UNSW)

10.2 'Increasingly, I use role plays in class. We might work on fishing rights over a lake, and the Indigenous students are asked to play the role of government officials, and non-Indigenous students have to take on Indigenous roles.' (Macquarie)

10.3 'We have just done a very rigorous component on engaging with the media - it was immersion, with role play, such as being interrogated by a journalist, and how to manage that. It's Performance Space teaching.' (VCAM)

10.4 'I run an online role-play, where students walk in the shoes of the colonisers, and of the colonised… In the last class they do it in class, they enact a range of roles… That's powerful. Students respond very positively, they acknowledge they have learnt something. Students correspond with one another… they get different information depending on their role, they get involved in issues which are still with us today. It's a bit of an "immersion" project, based on diaries, Royal Commission transcripts, letters to the newspapers. They get a personal engagement with the material - it's not just history as a set of secondary documents. It's good. The other thing is that the role play is local - it's Melbourne. It's not exotic, it's right here.' (Melbourne)

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