2012 Academy Photography Fellowship

Awarded to Peter Macbeth – Bangamalanha Principal
Aboriginal Education – Western Region, NSW

Bangamalanha is the name of Western NSW Regional Aboriginal Education centre. It is a Wiradjuri word that means a special place of sharing.

The Academy Photography Fellowship provides funding to the amount of $4000 annually to be used for the purpose of educational research.

Peters’ research is focussed on Aboriginal Education and the work schools are doing to change classroom practice to support the education of all Aboriginal students.

He writes …

During the last three years a priority has been directed towards the implementation of the Aboriginal Pedagogies Course or the 8 Ways of Learning in Western Region NSW. This course has been based on the work of Dr Tyson Yunkaporta and many others and is a framework to support the engagement of Aboriginal students in their learning. 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.

The framework has applicability for not only Aboriginal students but all students. The original research work and resultant professional development course for schools staff is based around the notion of ‘Learning through culture’. This means that students are engaged in the learning process because the teaching staffs are creating environments where students learn through their culture.

This research will centre on working with schools across NSW that are developing teaching practice which focusses on improving the learning outcomes of all students. The research will concentrate predominantly on the work being undertaken in Western NSW around the Aboriginal Pedagogies or the 8 ways of Learning. The Aboriginal Pedagogies focus on ‘learning through culture’ It is directed towards using Aboriginal culture in classrooms and teaching with that culture and is a course that supports growth through cultural responsiveness. It is a body of work that is developed and built in the context of each community and school.

The research will involve consultation across Western Region NSW and other areas of the state and will evaluate the practices that have been used and are being developed by staff in the implementation and grounding of the Aboriginal Pedagogies Framework in schools.  It will lead to the development and sharing of a paper which focusses on the most effective strategies on the implementation of the Aboriginal Pedagogies Course across all levels of education. The paper will allow a strengthening of the Aboriginal Pedagogies Framework as a model for improving teacher quality and improving student learning outcomes right across NSW.

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