PLEASE NOTE...Ownership of Indigenous Knowledge work belong to Individuals and groups. Permission sought from the original source is a requirement, out of courtesy. The 8way framework is a NSW Department of Education initiative. Examples of work from communities and individuals guided by this framework should be respected at all times, please follow protocol. If you are posting your own work on here, please be mindful this is the public domain and not a NSW Department of Education website (this site is managed by the NSW Department of Education staff from the Wagga Network of Schools). Please drop an email or call 02 68413852 02 68701092.

Kind regards.

Aboriginal Pedagogy Book... Link to order book.

8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning


8 WAYS to start the process... 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

Aboriginal perspectives are not found in Aboriginal content, but Aboriginal processes...

.This Aboriginal pedagogy framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies involving narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community. But these can change in different settings..For example, here is how Orange Public school and local Aboriginal community members have organised Aboriginal ways of learning into a dynamic learning cycle to inform their curriculum place, every People, has its own unique pedagogies. These 8 simple ones are merely a starting point for dialogue. Each school engages in a different way, and produces its own unique frameworks for Aboriginal education through dialogue with the community about local ways of doing things..
8ways is something that grew out of a particular ethic, a way of working that goes beyond cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and even cultural responsiveness. It is all about relational responsiveness, a protocol of attending to relational obligations to the field you're working in, relating and responding holistically to people, land, culture, language, spirit and the relationships between these with integrity and intellectual rigour. 8ways is a point of entry into this way of knowing. It is a way to develop relationally responsive practice in the way you work with your Aboriginal community.

See chapter on 8ways in ACER's 2011 book Two Way Teaching and Learning
and in
the book Reawakening Indigenous Languages

This is a pedagogy framework that allows teachers to include Aboriginal perspectives by using Aboriginal learning techniques. In this way, focus can remain on core curriculum content while embedding Aboriginal perspectives in every lesson. It came from a research project involving DET staff, James Cook University’s School of Indigenous Studies and the Western New South Wales Regional Aboriginal Education Team between 2007 and 2009. AECG and SERAP approval was granted for the project.
Final Thesis:

The research project sought to engage teachers with Indigenous knowledge at the Cultural Interface (overlap) between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures, finding innovative ways to apply this common-ground knowledge in the classroom. It was contended that Aboriginal perspectives do not come from Indigenised content, but from Indigenous processes of knowledge transmission. So Aboriginal learning processes were identified and a rich overlap was found between these and the best mainstream pedagogies (e.g. Quality Teaching). A common-ground pedagogical framework was developed and trialled during this Aboriginal research project, using an Indigenous standpoint methodology inspired by the work of Dr Karen Martin and Dr Martin Nakata. The framework was nicknamed “8ways” by teachers, although the RAET team resisted naming it so that it would not be seen as a commercial product or program.."8ways" is a constantly developing body of communal expertise held by the traditional keepers of knowledge in Aboriginal communities throughout western NSW. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers contribute to the framework in an ongoing cross-cultural dialogue via wiki..It is managed by the RAET team at the Aboriginal Knowledge and Practice Centre, Dubbo (02 6841 3852 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 02 6841 3852 end_of_the_skype_highlighting).It is not intended to constitute an entire Aboriginal program for schools, but is rather a culturally safe point of entry for teachers to begin engaging with Aboriginal knowledge and cross-cultural dialogue in the community.

If you use anything from here, please respect our communal protocols for knowledge and cross-cultural dialogue ethic. Please share any new understandings or applications here on the wiki. Simple rule - if you take something, put something back.

external image bos1.jpg

These carvings are learning tools for exploring the 8 ways. Each object carries and informs deep knowledge about a way of learning. You can see what they mean by referring to the diagram above. See brief descriptions below for explanations of each element. These objects are kept at the Bangamalanha Aboriginal Knowledge and Practice Centre in Dubbo, NSW. Phone 02 6841 3852 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 02 6841 3852 end_of_the_skype_highlighting for details.

Story Sharing: Approaching learning through narrative.
Learning Maps: Explicitly mapping/visualising processes.
Non-verbal: Applying intra-personal and kinaesthetic skills to thinking and learning.
Symbols and Images: Using images and metaphors to understand concepts and content.
Land Links: Place-based learning, linking content to local land and place.
Non-linear: Producing innovations and understanding by thinking laterally or combining systems.
Deconstruct/Reconstruct: Modelling and scaffolding, working from wholes to parts (watch then do).
Community Links: Centring local viewpoints, applying learning for community benefit.


8ways banners at Dubbo cultural gathering 2010

How we learn - culture way

1. We connect through the stories we share.
2. We picture our pathways of knowledge.
3. We see, think, act, make and share without words.
4. We keep and share knowledge with art and objects.
5. We work with lessons from land and nature.
6. We put different ideas together and create new knowledge.
7. We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing.
8. We bring new knowledge home to help our mob.

The joining lines are as important as the pedagogies themselves. Values, protocols, systems and processes refer to the ways of valuing (axiology), ways of being (ontology - protocols are rules for how to be), ways of knowing (epistemology) and ways of doing (methodology). When you engage with Indigenous communities at this level, you truly have the potential to embed broad and deep Indigenous perspectives.