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Dr Joël Rioux

Lecturer, Teacher Education

Aboriginal and Western Science Education

  • Name: Dr Joël Rioux
    Position: Lecturer, Teacher Education
    Research focus: Aboriginal and Western Science Education


    Qualifications: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Aboriginal Science Education, QUT.

    Professional memberships and associations
    • Australasian Science Education Research Association-ASERA
    • Australian Science Teachers Association-ASTA

    Joël was born in French Canada (Quebec) in a small community by the Saint-Lawrence River (St-Laurent) called “Riviere-du-Loup”. He has substantive experience with Learning and Teaching of the Montessori Method in cities with non-Aboriginal students (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Auckland, NZ).

    Joël also taught eight years to Aboriginal students of Woorabinda, a small Murri community of Central Queensland. Joel has experience in the Canadian Arctic teaching French to Inuit students in Umiujaq, by the Hudson Bay.


    Latest classroom teacher experience (Jan 2004-Dec 2011). Development of innovative Montessori curriculum materials to suit the needs of the Aboriginal students in Woorabinda. Wadja Wadja High School, Woorabinda, Central Queensland.

    PhD thesis: Two-way strong: A study of vertebrates using Queensland Aboriginal knowledges and Montessori Linnaean materials to engage Aboriginal secondary school students.

    Study Synopsis: The marginalisation that Indigenous secondary students experience in zoology science lessons can be attributed to a chasm they experience between their life in community and the classroom. The study found that the integration of Indigenous and Western science knowledge can provide transformative learning experiences for students which work to strengthen their sense of belonging to community and school. Using action research, the study investigated the integration of both-ways science education into students’ zoology lessons. It privileged the community’s cultural expertise, practices and connections with students and their families, which worked to enhance student engagement in their learning.
    Both-ways in Action: Place-based science and mathematics

    Study Synopsis: The purpose of this project is to explore ways that pre-service teachers on Bathurst Island can apply prior knowledge and local context through their teaching of Western science and mathematical concepts to Tiwi primary school children.


    Rioux, Joël Serge (2012) Teaching from country: Queensland Aboriginal narratives and teaching of the Linnaean taxonomy in an Indigenous classroom. In: Science Technology Engineering Mathematics 2012, 24-27th November 2012, Beijing, China