Realigning a lesson and incorporating 8ways

I have been asked to develop a lesson that is realigned and now incorporates  8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning (2009). At this point in time with respect to teaching full stop, not only Aboriginal ways, my experiences is limited and therefore coming up with an idea is putting me right outside my comfort zone.

This is my idea inspired by

‘Who they are and where are they from’

If I start with the idea of a junior years class – early in the year when the students are getting to know one another and the children are learning and sharing ‘all about me’. We would introduce the 8 ways – ‘yarning’ and ‘story sharing’. Beginning with an introduction (only a few sentences) about Australian Aboriginals and how, within their culture, they learn through ‘story sharing’ and ‘yarning’. This would be developed through an open discussion in a circle on the floor. Talking together about themselves and where they come from. Then through art and drawing they can create an image that represents themselves and what it is that makes them who they are.

We would begin with questions and share our answers – how old we are, who is our family, what we like to do, what are our favourite things are, where they live etc . This opportunity provides for dialogues and discussion shared amongst everyone. It is learning through the experience by developing their own sense of identity. I think this fits with 8ways as it connects the idea of people and their place – 8ways connects Aboriginal people through ‘who they are and where they are from’ and this opportunity engages others to think about their fellow students and ask the same question ‘who are they and where are they from?’.

These ideas can be identified as 8ways or Aboriginal ways, but really it a way of being that is incorporates all sorts of pedagogies. It’s not about preaching and it’s not about saying this is ‘the way’, it is instead about helping to share and connect one another to a sense of being and a sense of place.


8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning. (2009). Retrieved from


The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation I have seen the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation in action at my sons school. I volunteered in both the kitchen and in the garden and have seen a huge response from the children … Continue reading

Connecting 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning to Kakadu (ABC television 2013)

ABC KAKADU 2013– To have more time in the day to watch TV! I can dream.

I found Kakadu an inspiring documentary to watch. It is evident that Kakadu is a learning environment, in particular for non-indigenous people learning the ways of the Aboriginal people in order to care for the national park of Kakadu. No one would better understand the ways of nature in this region than the Aboriginal people who have lived there for thousands of years. It seems that the practise of ancient methods is now in place to protect and nurture the parklands and waterways. This Aboriginal approach to caring for this land is a way of existence and knowing – working within the ways of nature rather than a set of rules that need to be processed in order for something to work. A bad analogy I know but it reminds me of a tall building that is built to sway with the winds, instead of resisting nature compared to the idea that we try to tame nature by building big buffeting wind resistant walls.

The idea of the 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning (2009) is incorporated into the way the Park Rangers are working within nature and are guided by approaches to maintain a sense of understanding and being – a balance with nature and the land to keep the park going. An example would be the removal of Mimosa (an introduced species from South America) from the wetlands. If this plant was left it would multiply and take over areas of the wetland and the consequences would impact on the native plant life around and in turn impact on the food supplies for birds, fish, turtles and insect life that are dependent on the existence of Kakadu. This shows how the balance of nature is considered key to existence in Kakadu. Kakadu shows how western science is working together alongside Aboriginal ways to better understand how nature can be cared for and the balance of Nature can be kept. Without the land the Aboriginal people believe we are nobody.  I think they might be right.


ABC Television, (2013). Kakadu. Retrieved from

8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning. (2009). Retrieved from

8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning

‘Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others.’ 8 Ways of Learning (2009)

‘Aboriginal perspectives are not found in Aboriginal content, but Aboriginal processes…’

This way of learning offers a powerful connection and a stronger understanding to the how and why of the world. It shows a deeper level of learning due to active participation in the process  and a sense of connectedness to the knowledge being shared. This concept seems to address a multitude of levels of understanding that can enhance and connect more students. It does not seem impossible to work respectfully alongside the western education system especially in schools with higher levels of Indigenous children but it can also have great benefits to non-indigenous children. We need to teach all children to better understand the symbiotic relationship that humans must have with nature in order to exist on this planet. Aboriginal people believe that humans cannot exist without nature and whilst this concept is a simple one – Nature can certainly exist without us. This idea is a fundamental understanding of Aboriginal people but is not a practise or belief of western civilisation that would benefit it we were able to better understand how we relate to the world in which we live. Orange Public school has used the 8ways to inform curriculum and to connect Aboriginal people to engage with their own learning through scaffolded and supported learning. These processes show the benefits of inclusion and offer a better sense of understanding of one another.

Reference: 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning. (2009). Retrieved from

My Own Taxonomy

My Taxonomy

First I need to highlight that this is my taxonomy as it stands but it would be a mad for me to believe that this is how it will be forever. It will not be. I will change and alter this idea to suit my learning.To remind me how to be more effective and how I can best challenge and better understand my own learning. It will grow with me as I grow and better understand the world and how I work and learn within it.

Goals and Expectations

– Am I motivated to learn?

– What do I want gain from learning?

– What am I going to achieve?

– How do I approach and achieve the outcome?

– Plan and organise my time needed to learn

– What resources will I need to aid my learning?

Managing and evaluating my learning.

– Am I on task? What can I change to alter this?

– Am I connected to my learning and if not, how can I change this and if so how can I further enhance my learning

– Do I need to seek clarification and support?

– What resources do I have and am I using them effectively?

– Am I using my time efficiently and purposefully?

Reflection and effectiveness of my learning

– Did I achieve my expected outcome?

– Was I actively engaged in my learning?

– What can I learn from the experiences and what could I do better?

– What feedback could enhance my understanding for the future?

– Reflect on my achievements and where I need to go from here with this new understanding.

A Taxonomy


A Taxonomy of Learning is a framework of learning objectives that shape your learning. This framework is based on the understanding of higher and lower forms of thinking and involves the learner to be engaged in their own level of understanding through reflection on how best to interact in order to gain the most from their learning. This form of reflection is a powerful tool as it allows students to think beyond the recall of information and further enhance their understanding by being actively involved in their learning through discovery.


Blooms Taxonomy. Learning in Action [digital image]. (2013) . Retrieved from

Collaborative, Co-operative and Group work understanding

Collaborative and Co-operative learning is essentially the same thing as they both require the teacher to carefully consider the work assigned so that everyone has the opportunity to be supported and to actively participate. For me the important part of collaborative work is not that students are place with like students but as the YouTube clip – “Does ‘Group Work’ Work? Is it the Best way to learn?” highlights the importance of mixing children of different levels together so they have the opportunity to gain different perspectives from their peers. I also thought the idea to place a group of dominant ‘Alpha’ personalities together in order for the teacher to see how the children relate, react and respond within these different dynamics was an important point. By mixing the groups in many different possible combinations the teachers interviewed suggested that the teacher then has the chance to see how best the students learn given these changing variables.

Unlike Collaborative and Co-operative learning, Group work does not factor in the dynamic of the group and does not consider the distribution of the work. We see this time and time again at a university learning level where we are marked as a group regardless of our participation, ability and knowledge. It does not lead to a fair understanding of what is essentially being taught and what is understood.

As future teachers Collaborative and Co-operative learning will be essential skills we will need in order for us to learn from our peers and instructors/facilitators so we too can teach others to learn in the same way.