Teaching Exemplars

This website aims to provide practitioners in the field of Indigenous teaching with a set of ‘research-based exemplars for good practice’.

For the data collection, 26 Indigenous and nonIndigenous university teachers across New South Wales and Victoria – all recommended by senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues - were interviewed about their teaching. (The Interview Schedule is available on request).

The findings were analysed using NVivo software, resulting in the set of Approaches outlined below. For each Approach, short exemplars are provided in teachers' own words.


1. Make the classroom a safe environment for learning

2. Show confidence in your own expertise, credibility and authority

3. Set high academic and personal standards (and model them yourself)

4. Provide scaffolding and support when needed

5. Negotiate emotions in the classroom

6. Model dialogue by teaching in pairs/collaboratively

7. Locate local Indigenous issues in global contexts

8. Get students to question established assumptions and 'facts'

9. Build relationships with, and connect students to community

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

11. Utilise personal experience

12. Encourage student self awareness

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

14. Be open to reflecting, learning and changing as a teacher

15. Be enthusiastic, enjoy your teaching, and have fun!

Some terms may be unfamiliar to you. A Glossary of Terms is provided. See also Key Organisations.

Teachers' institutions and the appreviations used in the exemplars are:

La Trobe University (LaTrobe)
Macquarie University (Macquarie)
Monash University (Monash)
University of Melbourne (Melbourne)
Victorian Centre for Arts and Music  (VCAM)
Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE)
University of Newcastle (Newcastle)
University of New South Wales (UNSW)
University of Sydney (Sydney)
University of Wollongong (Wollongong)

All names appear by permission of the teachers.