Growing our own: A 'two way', place-based approach to Indigenous initial teacher education in remote Northern Territory
Growing Our Own is an innovative and unique program for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in the remote Northern Territory. As a partnership between Catholic Education, Northern Territory (CENT) and Charles Darwin University (CDU), lecturers travel to remote Indigenous communities to deliver unit content to local 'Assistant Teachers’ enrolled in the Bachelor of Education: Primary degree. However, it is much more than an effective scheduling exercise; the program has been intentionally established to function under the ‘two way’ pedagogy whereby the pre-service teachers, their mentors and lecturers engage in a process of epistemological dialogue and exchange. There is also a place-based emphasis, with a clear pattern of teaching ‘on country’. Overall, such a process of genuine negotiation to incorporate localised Indigenous Language and Knowledge within the Australian Curriculum is opening up new and exciting possibilities for (school) student learning and a tertiary Indigenous ‘standpoint’.
Growing Our Own was established in 2009 and has been refined over the years to meet the increasing demands on Initial Teacher Education and local community desires. This paper is both a report concerning the successes of the program thus far and a critical reflection on some of the key findings that have evolved in regards to such a ‘two way’, place-based, Indigenous andragogic approach.
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2010). The Community Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/declaration_community_guide.pdf
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2016). Initial teacher education: Data Report 2015. Retrieved from http://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/aitsl-research/insights/2015-ite-data-reportaaf4894d46ab632d8aa7ff0000cdfa8c.pdf
Avery, L. (2016, June). Growing Our Own: A partnership between CENT and Charles Darwin University. Paper presented at the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) Conference, Perth.
Bat, M., & Shore, S. (2013). Listening differently: An exploration of the grey literature on Aboriginal teacher education in the Top End of the Northern Territory. A review of grey literature produced as part of the research outcomes for the MATSITI funded project: Pathways for Yolŋu Teachers: Rethinking initial teacher education (ITE) on country. Darwin, NT, School of Education, Charles Darwin University.
Behrendt, L., Larkin, S., Griew, R., & Kelly, P. (2012). Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Final Report. Retrieved from https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/heaccessandoutcomesforaboriginalandtorresstraitislanderfinalreport.pdf
Blitner, S., Dobson, V., Gibson, F., Martin, B., Oldfield, N., Oliver, R., Palmer.I, & Riley, R. (2000). Strong Voices. Batchelor: Batchelor Institute.
Charles Darwin University. (2015). Connect Discover Grow: Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2015-2015. Darwin, NT: Charles Darwin University.
Charles Darwin University. (2016). Learnline. Retrieved from https://online.cdu.edu.au/webapps/portal/execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_3_1
Christie, M. (2001). Aboriginal knowledge on the internet. Ngoonjook, 19, 33–50. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=995871709795240;res=IELAPA
Christie, M. (2006). Local versus global knowledges: A fundamental dilemma in ‘remote education’. Education in Rural Australia, 16(1), 27–37.
Collins B., & Lea, T. (1999). Learning Lessons, An independent review of Indigenous education in the Northern Territory. Darwin: NT Department of Education.
Devlin, B. (2009, June). Bilingual education in the Northern Territory and the continuing debate over its effectiveness and value. Paper presented to Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies research symposium, Bilingual education in the Northern Territory: Principles, policy and practice, Canberra. Retrieved 13 March, 2017 from http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20090914/language/docs/Devlin_paper.pdf
Elliott, A. (2009). Empowering Indigenous learners in remote Australian communities. Paper presented at the CIRN Community Informatics Conference 2009, Prato, Italy. Retrieved from http://www. ccddesarrollo.net/newcd/dmdocuments/76%20Empowering%20indigenous.pdf
Elliott, A., & Keenan, B. (2008). Growing Our Own. Submission to DEEWR. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government.
Ford, L., & Klesch, M. (2003). It won't matter soon, we'll all be dead: Endangered languages and action research. Wadeye aboriginal languages project. Ngoonjook, 23, 27–43. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=972133304412293;res=IELAPA
Giles, W. (2010). Teacher education in a remote community: Learning on the job. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 11 (3), 57–65.
Grunewald, D. (2003). Foundations of place: A multidisciplinary framework for place-conscious education. American Educational Research Journal, 40(3), 619–654.
Guenther, J., & Bat, M. (2013). Towards a good education in very remote Australia: Is it just a case of moving desks around? The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(2), 145–156
Guthadjaka, K. (2010). Teaching when nothing is lying around. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 2, 25–31.
Marika-Mununggiritj, R., Maymuru, B., Mununggurr, M., Munyarryun, B., Ngurruwutthun, G., & Yunupingu, Y. (1990). The history of the Yirrkala community school: Yolngu thinking about education in the Laynha and Yirrkala area. Ngoonjook, 3, 32–52. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=152569324677017;res=IELAPA
Masters, G. (2011). Improving Educational Outcomes in the Northern Territory. Preliminary advice to the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training, Darwin: Australian Council for Educational Research.
Nakata, M. (2007). The cultural interface. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36, 7–14.
Nutton, G., Moss, B., Fraser, J., McKenzie, J., & Silburn, S. (2012). Recruitment, retention and development of quality educators in very remote NT Schools. Darwin, NT: The Centre for Child Development and Education, Menzies School of Health Research.
Ober, R., & Bat, M. (2007). Paper 1: Both-ways: The philosophy. Ngoonjook, 31, 64–86. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=892645049024812;res=IELAPA
Reedy, A., Prescott, D., & Giles, W. (2011). Cooperative and work-integrated education and Indigenous peoples. In R. Coll & Z. Zegwaard (Eds.), International handbook for cooperative and work-integrated education: International perspectives of theory, research and practice (pp. 321–329). Boston: World Association for Cooperative Education.
Slee, J. (2010). A systemic approach to culturally responsive assessment practices and evaluation. Higher Education Quarterly, 64(3), 246–260.
Slee, J., & Keenan, B. (2009). Culturally responsive assessment strategies to inform a pilot program for Indigenous teacher education in remote communities of the Northern Territory of Australia. Symposium on Tertiary Assessment and Higher Education Student Outcomes. Victoria University, NZ, 17-19 November 2008.
Strangeways, A. (2016). From assistant teacher to teacher: Challenges and pathways in situated pre-service teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, DOI: 10.1080/1359866X.2016.1140123
Thornton, S., Giles, W., Prescott, D., & Rhodes, D. (2011). Exploring the mathematical confidence of Indigenous preservice teachers in a remote teacher education program. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 23(2), 235–252.
van Gelderen, B. (2016). Too many ‘two-ways’: Clarifying approaches within Indigenous education in the Northern Territory. (Unpublished Master’s thesis). Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia.
Wallace, R. (2008). Reluctant learners: Their identities and educational experiences. National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Occasional Paper. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED503387.pdf
Wilson, B. (2014). A Share in the future: Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory. Darwin: The Education Business. Retrieved from http://www.education.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/37294/A-Share-in-the-Future-The-Review-of-Indigenous-Education-in-the-Northern-Territory.pdf
Manuscripts submitted for publication should not have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. It is the responsibility of authors to secure release of any copyright materials included in their manuscripts, and to provide written evidence of this to the editors. If accepted and published, papers become the copyright of the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education.
Papers are accepted on the understanding that they are subject to editorial revision. The Editorial Committee cannot guarantee that all contributions will be published nor give definite dates of publication. However, contributors will be advised if their papers are not accepted or if there will be a long publication delay.