About The Third Cultural Space

This conceptual framework of the Third Cultural Space uses the colours of the Aboriginal flag.

The black circle represents First Nations Australians' ways of knowing, being and doing, incorporating Indigenous Knowledges (IK) developed over 65,000 years1.

The red circle on the opposite side of this image represents western ways. This is how the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics is viewed from First Nations Australians' perspectives.

The yellow centre represents the Third Cultural Space of not knowing; of innovation and creation. The Third Cultural Space creates a place for dialogue, where diverse cultural worldviews come together to form unique knowledges.

Guiding Principles of the Third Cultural Space

  • The Third Cultural Space is a place where First Nations Australians' perspectives and western world views complement one another (Davis, 2008).
  • Acknowledge, value and empower First Nations Australians' ways of knowing, being and doing.
  • Encourage multiple perspectives within culturally safe spaces.
  • Recognise the important role for non-Indigenous school leadership and teachers in enabling Indigenous Teaching Assistants to voice their perspectives on culturally responsive teaching and learning.
  • Ensure schools provide culturally safe spaces where First Nations Australians can discuss, practise and share their cultures and beliefs.
  • Enact culturally safe processes through using the Third Cultural Space.
  • Ensure all school staff understand the Third Cultural Space as a place of deep listening to diverse perspectives, expectations, hopes and aspirations of others.
  • Enable Indigenous Knowledge holders, teaching assistants and families with spaces to come together to share unique knowledges.
  • Enable teachers of mathematics to view curriculum and pedagogy through a different cultural lens.

1 https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/evidence-of-first-peoples

© 2023 Commonwealth of Australia. These resources may be used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. These resources were created by Stronger Smarter Institute and Indigenous knowledge-holders.