Development Education and Pedagogy

Topics Education | Tools & Guidance

Sitting at the nexus of research, evidence, policy and practice, the RDI Network has always held an active interest in the methods and means through which Development Studies is taught to students. An inherently interdisciplinary field of research and education, ‘development’ as a subject exhibits a unique series of opportunities and challenges associated with its pedagogy in tertiary education. Through open dialogue, enquiry and engagement, the Network seeks to advance the teaching and learning of Development Studies towards content which is relevant and engaging, and teaching which offers appropriate skills and competencies.

Development Studies in Australia: Review and Recommendations

Development Studies in Australia: Review and Recommendations

In 2017, the RDI Network commissioned a review of Development Studies courses in Australia – with a focus on postgraduate level degrees. The purpose of the review was to capture and document current literature in the field of Development Studies pedagogy, and to contribute to debate around the future direction of Development Studies education.

The review report, Development Studies in Australia, offers a series of practical recommendations related to the content, skills and competencies provided by courses, as well as the modes and methods of course delivery.

The report derived its recommendations through a mixed method approach, combining a review of the literature on Development Studies courses in Australia and overseas, insights from the 2017 Rethinking Development Symposium, and a survey of current and former students, and lecturers of Development Studies in Australia.

A series of areas for further research and enquiry are also identified in the report.

The report is a valuable resource for anyone involved in the design, development or delivery of Development Studies courses, as well as for students undertaking – or considering undertaking – Development Studies.

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Rethinking Development Symposia

The RDI Network has partnered with Australian universities to onvene academics, students and industry leaders to share learnings, ideas and innovations in development pedagogy and practice. These symposia offer a unique platform for honest conversations and practical suggestions to improve the ways in which we are preparing the next generation of development researchers and practitioners.

2017: Rethinking Development Pedagogy and Practice: New Visions for Global Development
Hosted at James Cook University, you can read a summary of this event here.

2018: Pedagogy in Practice: how we teach in Development Studies
Hosted at Murdoch University in June 2018 – find out more here.


Development Studies Association of Australia

The Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA) represents researchers, scholars and practitioners engaged in research, teaching, and training in the field of development studies.

DSAA supports the work of researchers seeking solutions to ongoing problems of development including poverty, inequality, injustice and marginalisation. It encourages collaboration between academia, the development sector, activist organisations, community groups, among others, and provides a platform for mutual learning and debate. DSAA recognises that Development Studies is a field with dynamic boundaries, and welcomes engagement with all stakeholders interested in processes of development.

The RDI Network supported the foundation of the DSAA through two symposia held in 2017 and 2018 to engage the community in discussing improving the content and delivery of development studies programs across Australia.

Visit the website to become a member of DSAA and contribute to furthering the objectives of the Association.