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Utilising PEARL to Teach Indigenous Art History: A Canadian Example

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2012

Carmen Robertson*
Department of Visual Arts, University of Regina, Canada
address for correspondence: Carmen Robertson, Department of Visual Arts, RC 232, University of Regina, Regina, SK, S4S 0A2, Canada. Email:
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This article explores the concepts advanced from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)-funded project, ‘Exploring Problem-Based Learning pedagogy as transformative education in Indigenous Australian Studies’. As an Indigenous art historian teaching at a mainstream university in Canada, I am constantly reflecting on how to better engage students in transformative learning. PEARL offers significant interdisciplinary theory and methodology for implementing content related to both Canadian colonial history and Indigenous cultural knowledge implicit in teaching contemporary Aboriginal art histories. This case study, based on a third-year Indigenous art history course taught at University of Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada will articulate applications for PEARL in an Aboriginal art history classroom. This content-based course lends itself to an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach because it remains outside the traditional disciplinary boundaries accepted in most Eurocentric-based histories of art. Implementing PEARL both theoretically and methodologically in tandem with examples of contemporary Indigenous art allows for innovative ways to balance course content with the sensitive material required for students to better understand and read art created by Indigenous artists in Canada in the past 40 years.

Research Article
Copyright © The Authors 2012

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