Enacting the Third Cultural Space
‘Diversity and richness of Indigenous communities in Australia and the vast distances between communities means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators are vital to meet student and community needs.’ (AITSL, 2021 p. 8)
It is important for all school staff to understand the Third Cultural Space as a place of deep listening to diverse perspectives, expectations, hopes and aspirations of others. This is a space where authentic dialogue happens between members of diverse cultural groups.
Within the Third Cultural Space, creating and accepting equal positions of power builds stronger relationships. There should be equal partnerships between First Nations workers, community, school teaching and leadership staff. The Third Cultural Space accepts diverse perspectives, where:
- people’s experiences are not denied
- the impact of experiences are not diminished
- people are not demeaned.
Importantly, Third Cultural Spaces have potential for growth and transformative change.
Research has found the following:
In the Third Cultural Space, creating and accepting equal positions of power are essential to building stronger relationships. Teemant et al. (2021) advocate for equitable partnerships between First Nations workers, community, school teaching and leadership staff in local contexts.
Implementation strategies and considerations
Within the Third Cultural Space, value equal positions of power to build stronger relationships
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