Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

The value of teaching on Country

Assoc Prof Libby Lee-Hammond and Elizabeth Jackson-Barrett from Murdoch University’s School of Education will work with Burringurrah Remote Community School over the next six months to investigate teaching on Country in remote areas.

“On Country Learning (OCL) is a simple yet radical idea, positioning Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge as central to the curriculum rather than peripheral,” Lee-Hammond said. “This has learning implications for all children attending schools in Australia.”

“We hope that by Aboriginal children participating in learning experiences directly connected to their ancestral Country, they can access a rich source for play and creativity and context for the mandated curriculum.”

The Murdoch researchers will accompany children and teachers from Kindergarten to Year Three from the Burringurrah Remote Community School on regular class visits to sites chosen by Elders of the community.

Elders have expressed the view that learning on Country held the most promise for enabling their children to reach their potential.

“The relationship between Elders and children is one of deep mutual respect and reciprocity, and Elders can teach and nurture a generation of children with the skills, knowledge and values from that Country,” Lee-Hammond said.

“We believe that OCL offers a promising opportunity to provide learning experiences that are hands on and relevant to children’s lives, thus supporting wellbeing, identity and learning.”

The Murdoch University researchers conducted a pilot study on the effects of the OCL program implemented in two urban primary schools in 2016, which demonstrated a clear improvement in children’s levels of involvement and wellbeing as well as their school attendance.

“We have found that OCL enables children and teachers to make connections with curriculum areas such as languages, history, numeracy science the arts technologies health and education,” Jackson-Barrett said.

The study, which began at the end of March, is funded by the Froebel Trust (UK).

Home page image - by Ramingining Arnhem Land via Flickr


11 Apr 2019 | National
AITSL Stakeholder Survey now open News Image

Teachers, school leaders and the entire education sector can have their say in the 2019 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Survey which is open now. Read More

11 Apr 2019
Early career teachers get dramatic with NIDA News Image

NIDA continues to invest in the creative practice of early career teachers in primary and secondary schools with the 2019 Creative Ambassador’s Initiative.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
New teachers love induction support app News Image

Downloaded more than 17,000 times, the AITSL My Induction app offers expert advice, answers to frequently asked questions and allows new teachers to track their professional wellbeing. Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Reform of preschools front and centre in election period News Image

Research shows that two years of quality preschool sets a child up for success, and happily the issue is gaining traction with politicians.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Domestic violence causes homelessness News Image

The number of people seeking help from homelessness services due to domestic and family violence has risen in recent years but only 4% of those who approached a homelessness service for long-term housing actually received it. Read More