Cosmopolitan Theory and Aboriginal Teachers’ Professional Identities

Part of the Education Dialogues with/in the Global South book series (EDGS)


The professional identities of Aboriginal teachers in Australia are shaped by ongoing processes of racialization. This chapter seeks to reject more recent manifestations of this process in the form of cultural essentialism. It discusses how Australian Aboriginal groups have been continuously transformed through long-established practices of trade, intermarriage, and, more recently, colonization. The argument is that cosmopolitan theory is able to capture this dynamism and provide a language of transformation that moves beyond the us/them discourse that contributes to cultural essentialism. A cosmopolitan analysis is then used to argue that Aboriginal teachers can be seen as cosmopolitan workers, who engage with multiple epistemologies. This leads to the need to reassess binary logics in the development of Aboriginal professional identities.


Preservice Teacher Indigenous People Aboriginal People Indigenous Knowledge Teacher Education Program 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Educational ResearchWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationCharles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia

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