National Aboriginal Education Committeein 1985 suggested Aboriginalperspectives need to come throughpedagogy, asserting the need to develop“pedagogy that takes into accountAboriginal epistemology. Only when thisoccurs will education for our people be aprocess that builds on Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander cultures andidentity” (1985, 4).
Process and Protocol• Teach using Aboriginal processes andprotocols, not just Aboriginal content.• Apply Aboriginal pedagogy to mainstreamcontent – it validates our culture.• When you focus on “how” rather than“what”, you are teaching through culture.• The common ground between Aboriginaland western pedagogy gives you a safeentry point for Aboriginal perspectives.
Common ground between best mainstream andAboriginal pedagogies:1. Learning through narrative.2. Planning and visualising explicit processes.3. Working non-verbally with self-reflective, hands-on methods.4. Learning through images, symbols and metaphors.5. Learning through place-responsive, environmental practice.6. Using indirect, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches.7. Modelling and scaffolding by working from wholes to parts.8. Connecting learning to local values, needs and knowledge.
Here is a dynamic framework for these common ground pedagogies:
• Tell your stories about the topic or related topics.• Get students to tell theirs and discuss that knowledge in depth.• Show a model of the work students will produce for this topic.• Ask: How can this help/relate to local community?• Pull the model apart, question the meaning.• Map out the structures, explain the patterns and codes.• Work with these visually and kinaesthetically.• Support students to recreate their own versions individually.• Ensure these are returned to community for local benefit.YourQualityTeachingthenemergeslike this:You can see here a the common ground between western and Aboriginal pedagogy.
Examples from Western NSWClassroomsSample Lessons and Units
Using narrative to structure a lessonon comparing grammar systemsHands-onsequencing oftext andimagesNon-linear visualmap of text for studyCommunityfocusLearning situated inland and placecontextBeginning with whole text,then sentences, thengrammar, then spelling.
Silent reflection time aftera learning sequenceModeltextsfrom communityLiteracy ScaffoldingSharingStoryLocal place istopic for study
Story mappingTraditional design used forlearning mapHands-on deconstruction andreconstruction of text and grammarLand focus
Learning Maps by non-Aboriginal Teachers.Unit TermTextYear
Example ofAboriginalpedagogyframework used inlesson planning.This is from Jodie inCoonamble. She had notraining or guidance inusing 8ways – just readthrough the wiki andtrialled the pedagogies inher class. She thenincorporated it in herlesson planningdocuments. You can findher template, and all theinfo on the 8ways, in thewiki:http://8ways.wikispaces.com
Eight Ways of LearningYou can use alternative names and symbols/metaphors appropriate to your community
"...the approaches consistentwith Aboriginal ways of doingthings are found in varyingproportions in all cultures."(Harris, 1984)
Can you match these statements with their symbols?We connect through the stories we share.We picture our pathways of knowledge.We see, think, act, make and share without words.We keep and share knowledge with art and objects.We work with lessons from land and nature.We put different ideas together and create new knowledge.We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing.We bring new knowledge home to help our mob.