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ERIC Number: EJ1152383
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1038-2046
Putting Oneself in the Shoes of Another: Issues of Empathy and Intercultural Understanding in the Australian Geography Curriculum
Harrison, Neil
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, v26 n4 p269-280 2017
Geography is about the places that make up the world. A key focus of the new geography curriculum in Australia is on different ways of finding knowledge about those places. Yet there is limited demonstration in the curriculum and its elaborations of just how students might understand those places outside the realm of their own experience. In presenting geography education as a study "about" places, students (and teachers) are positioned as those who manage the order and balance of a human-centred world. Places are made to appear "useful" and profitable, always the object of study. I suggest that the onto-epistemic assumptions built into the Australian geography curriculum make it difficult for students and teachers to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts of place outside their own experiences. Invoking notions of empathy throughout the curriculum as a means for working across differences is fraught by our limited ability to observe and listen beyond our own experience. Whilst it is argued that putting oneself in the shoes of another is a dangerous activity, empathy does create certain ethical possibilities around self-reflection and moral obligation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A