Friday, August 20, 2010

Eight Aboriginal Ways of Learning

Incorporating Aboriginal perspectives is a requirement for public school teachers in New South Wales, however I would wager that most would struggle with doing this in an authentic, non-tokenistic manner.

Tyson Kaawoppa Yunkaporta, an Aboriginal Education Consultant for Western New South Wales, has created a richly evolving space at the eight ways that Aboriginal people learn. I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Western New South Wales for sharing this knowledge and their generosity in making it available for teachers to use. I hope that this becomes a vessel for skyrocketing educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.

I would have loved being taught in these ways and definitely would have relished going to school even more than I did - yes, a total nerd! But who can resist the pull of deep, contextualised learning? So let's use it!

Social Networking in First Life

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Making of Modern Australia

I've been hooked on Joey's Song by Bill Haley & His Comets since seeing the first episode of the six-part documentary series The Making of Modern Australia.

The first episode is entitled The Australian Child and case studies are presented to explore a range of experiences of childhood in Australia since WWII. Donna, an Aboriginal child, was taken from her family and rural mission, and her recollections were heartbreakingly evocative. One was the memory of her family community relaxing after supper listening to her uncle play Joey's Song, her favourite. Later, as she stepped into her adoptive mother's home for the first time, the song was playing on the radio.

It's provoking to consider the spirit and significance of music to culture and identity. Joey's Song now evokes in me Donna's poignant experience of childhood.

I wonder about the Australian childhoods that are being formed today, and the music connected to them. What stories will tell themselves in another fifty years? How will we understand what we are doing and what is happening to children now?