Confirmation of Candidature - Lotte ten Hacken

Mon 21 Mar 2022 4:00pm


Zoom link:

Room 638, Social Sciences Building #24

Reading Australia: Using picturebooks to foster intercultural understanding


There is no question that racism is pervasive across many (if not all) nations globally. Australia, while officially a democratic, ‘multicultural’ society, has incidences of injustice and discrimination daily. Research shows that education addressing intercultural understanding can challenge pervasive stereotypical views and decrease racial bias and discrimination. In order to equip students to become active participants in a democratic society, it is necessary to teach ‘21st century skills’ such as communication, critical thinking and empathy. The interest and research into the potential for both dialogic pedagogy and culturally diverse picturebooks to address these skills is steadily increasing. This qualitative study is framed around the Freirean notion of ‘reading and re-reading the world’, where the abstract concept of what it means to be ‘Australian’ is explored through engagement with culturally diverse, Australian picturebooks.  The design-based, critical action research framework will investigate how picturebooks may enable or constrain the development of intercultural understanding, whilst addressing Australian Curriculum content. The study aims to explore whether students are able to critically reflect on their current understanding and develop new understandings about the complexities of cultural diversity (including whiteness and its privileges) in the context of Australian society. Another important aim is to examine the perceptions of teachers, and to monitor any changes in their confidence and willingness to discuss and teach issues related to intercultural understanding. This research has the potential to make a valuable contribution, to not only the sphere of empirical Australian picturebook research, but also to the field of dialogic pedagogy and anti-bias education.


Dr Damon Thomas (primary)
Associate Professor Kerryn Dixon (associate)

Professor Robyn Gillies (chair)
Dr Kate McLay

Date: Monday 21 March 2022                             

Time: 4:00pm

Venue: Room 638, Social Sciences Building #24

Zoom link:

All HDR candidates and advisors are welcome to attend the presentation.