13. Show students the relevance of learning for future jobs/career

Some younger non-Indigenous undergraduates - and their parents - may wonder where Indigenous Studies will take them. Other students may be mature Indigenous people who already have full-time jobs in their own communities and are looking for the relevance of their learning to those professional jobs.

In all cases, helping students link their current learning to future career goals and pathways is a hallmark of good teaching. Bringing in former students as guest speakers is one particularly useful approach here (as in 9.2).

13.1 'Careers - a lot of them want to know what they can do with it, with Aboriginal knowledge. So I have guest speakers - students who come back, and who can explain what they've done with it, in their careers. Students are usually not sure how it will benefit them in the workplace - and I imagine that's what their parents think too… It's amazing how many students are influenced by their parents… I get my guest speakers to talk about career prospects, so it's about learning about things on their own, not just following their parents' advice.'(La Trobe)

13.2 'I get the [Indigenous] students to do a Powerpoint… I tell them: Imagine someone comes in wanting to do research in your community - what would you tell your employer? The students tell me this has been really useful for them… So it's linking learning outcomes and assessment - but also relating assessment to what they're doing in their communities. The students say their employers are blown away when the students say: "You haven't thought about Ethics." So they are developing the confidence not only to know it, but to say it.' (Macquarie)

13.3 'I've had occasional guest speakers. They tend to be young graduates working in the field - they are non-Indigenous. They are young exemplars, out of Honours, who talk about the balance of practical realities and what had I tried to get them focused on.' (La Trobe)

13.4 'Most Indigenous students studying in Block Mode are in schools - so I expose them to things they can take back with them. I expose them to new knowledges and new resources. It gives them power. Doing this also encourages them as teachers to keep up to date with the latest technology. The Aboriginal Education Officers don't normally feel very confident in say, staff meetings in their school, so I try to give them skills that will enable them to gain that confidence.' (Sydney)


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