Indigenous Australian ways of learning

Australian Indigenous ways of learning

This resource is about Indigenous Australian ways of knowing, being, and doing as applied to education and learning.

Ways of learning edit

These eight ways of learning are based on "Yarning up Aboriginal pedagogies: A dialogue about eight Aboriginal ways of learning" (Yungaporta & Kirby, 2011).

This model is being used within education in Australia to help guide and inform endeavours to "indigenise the curriculum".

Eight Indigenous ways of learning

Tell a story edit

Story sharing. Approaching learning through narrative. We connect through the stories we share. Personal narratives (stories) are central.

Make a plan edit

Learning maps. Explicitly mapping/visualising processes. We picture our pathways of knowledge. Images or visuals are used to map out processes for learners to follow.

Think and do edit

Non-verbal. Applying intra-personal and kinaesthetic skills to thinking and learning. We see, think, act, make and share without words. Kinaesthetic, hands-on, non-verbal learning is characteristic.

Draw it edit

Symbols and images. Using images and metaphors to understand concepts and content. We keep and share knowledge with art and objects. Symbol, image and metaphor are central to pedagogy.

Take it outside edit

Land links. Place-based learning, linking content to local land and place. We work with lessons from land and nature. Ecological and place-based, drawn from the living landscape within a framework of profound ancestral and personal relationships with place.

Try a new way edit

Non-linear. Producing innovations and understanding by thinking laterally or combining systems. We put different ideas together and create new knowledge. Non-linear ways of learning are complementary, not oppositional.

Watch first, then do edit

Deconstruct/reconstruct. Modelling and scaffolding, working from wholes to parts. We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing. Begin with the whole structure, rather than a series of sequenced steps. Holistic, global, scaffolded and independent learning orientations of students.

Share it with others edit

Community links. Centring local viewpoints, applying learning for community benefit. We bring new knowledge home to help our mob. Connections to real-life purposes, contexts, communities, and teams.

Arnhem Land artist Glen Namundja working on a piece of art.

References edit

Yunkaporta, T. (2009). Aboriginal pedagogies at the cultural interface (Professional doctorate (Research) thesis, James Cook University).

Yunkaporta, T., & Kirby, M. (2011). Yarning up Aboriginal pedagogies: A dialogue about eight Aboriginal ways of learning. In N. Purdie, G. Milgate, & H. Bell. (Eds.) Two way teaching and learning: Toward culturally reflective and relevant education (pp. 205-213). ACER Press.

External links edit