Education and learning
In one way or another, Nulungu’s education and learning projects aim to:
- connect learners with the Aboriginal culture of the land on which the learners live, work and study;
- strengthen relationships between people and place;
- emphasise social, climate and ecological justice;
- use culturally responsive, transformative research methods;
- develop community sustainability;
- improve Aboriginal education;
- focus on wellbeing;
- promote social transformation towards regenerative futures;
Education is the respectful, hopeful and wise nurturing of learning and change, carried out in the conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to share in life and its abundance. Nulungu researchers interpret ‘education’ broadly, across multiple learning and change contexts including public pedagogies; on-Country cultural resurgence; and formal primary, secondary and tertiary education. Education research includes a great many standpoints, philosophies, varieties and methods. Within Nulungu, education and learning is considered through lenses including Aboriginal leadership, Aboriginal governance; Aboriginal-led environmental and sustainability education; Aboriginal language applications; transformative learning; enhancing social wellbeing; social, climate and environmental justice; and Laudato Si’ inspired regeneration.
Examples of Education and Learning research:
- Kimberley Transitions: Collaborating to Care for Our Common Home
The Kimberley Transitions project is part of an international movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world – locally and globally. It brings together researchers, practitioners, educators, artists and other change-makers to contribute to learning and change for social, cultural, economic and ecological justice. At present there are five doctoral projects and seven interconnected research teams in this collaboration, which emphasises transformative sustainability learning and change.
- Promoting Aboriginal Student Engagement and Success in Tertiary Education: Perspectives from participants living and studying in remote locations
This project recorded the voices of remote Aboriginal tertiary education students and staff in response to three key questions focused on ways to improve success rates in remote tertiary education learning contexts. A report and four academic journal articles are in production.
- Red Dirt Education Ideals in the Great Western Woodlands
This Aboriginal-led Transformative Sustainability Education (TSE) research is a partnership between Nulungu researchers, traditional owners of the Great Western Woodlands in the Goldfields of WA, and Millennium Kids In, a sustainability education organisation of 25 years duration. Its focus is on the ways in which Aboriginal elders, parents and young people want young people to learn, how they want to learn it and where.
- Aboriginal Water Knowledge in Education & Learning
As with many areas around the world, in the near future Western Australia will face significant crises in human, agricultural and environmental usages of water. A deep understanding of water and the part it plays in our lives, is encapsulated within Aboriginal language knowledge. This research aims to build cultural-ecological literacy by integrating Aboriginal water knowledge into a variety of educational contexts. The main themes of the research are: Sustainability and Aboriginal Histories and Cultures, Transformative Learning and Water, Waterways, Wetlands. A number of publications have been completed through this project.
Post Graduate and Doctoral Researchers Working in the Broad Education and Learning Space:
- Elizabeth Kent: Enabling and enacting Kimberley educator wellbeing
- Jacqui Remond: Transformative learning: integral ecology at school
- Anne Jennings: Community development for ecological conversion
- Louisa Stredwick: Articulating and enacting hope on climate
- Gwen McDermott: Aboriginal language use in a mainstream education context
- Can’t be what you can’t see…
- Enhancing Training Advantage for Remote Indigenous Learners
Funded by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Associate Professor Sandra Wooltorton, Mrs Mel Marshall and Ms Anna Dwyer of Nulungu formed the Kimberley group of a team of researchers from across Australia to work on this project which was led by Adjunct Professor John Guenther from Ninti-One (Flinders University). The research provided answers to longstanding questions about how post school training can enhance the employability of remote adult Aboriginal learners. The project examined programs in remote regions of Australia where rates of retention and completion are relatively high compared to the average for remote Australia. Five case studies were conducted. Full reports on the project are available here: