The Eight-way Aboriginal Pedagogy Framework

Within Aboriginal learning and teaching context, there is a recognition that there are culturally determined ways of learning. An example of this is the 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning Framework (Yunkaporta, 2009) that allows for the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives using Aboriginal learning techniques. 8 ways comprise eight interconnected pedagogies that see teaching and learning as interconnected dynamic and interactive processes, which are fundamentally holistic, social and contextualized. In order to maintain cultural integrity in language education, “we need to learn through culture, not just about culture” (Yunkaporta, 2009, p8). The eight interconnected pedagogies are: story sharing, learning maps, non-verbal communication, symbols and images, land links, non-linear, deconstruct/reconstruct, and community links. While these pedagogies are important and founded in cultural practices and in Country from Far-Western NSW the application of 8 ways needs to be adapted to local Cultural practices and Countries to acknowledge and enhance the multiple First Nations peoples’ perspectives in the classroom.
Yunkaporta, T. (2009) 8 Ways diagram (p3)
See the diagram above for Examples in the Early Childhood Setting

Yunkaporta, T. (2009). Aboriginal pedagogies at the cultural interface available from
Find out more about 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning online at.
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• Topic 5.2: Stronger Smarter
Topic 5.2: Stronger Smarter
Stronger Smarter Approach
The Stronger Smarter approach was first developed by Dr Chris Sarra whilst he was the principal at Cherbourg State School in Queensland. It has further been developed and applied through the Stronger Smarter Institute. Even though mainly primary and secondary schools identify the approach, I feel that we can also adapt the principles and strategies to an early childhood setting. When you first look at the framework, you may feel some sense of being overwhelmed by the information, but as you read the position paper, it breaks down and discusses the impact it can have for Indigenous children.
Utilizing 8 Ways Pedagogy to understand Stronger Smarter Pedagogy
When I first read this position paper my instinct was to use the deconstruction/reconstruction from the 8 ways pedagogy. I read the information so I could understand its elements and then I reconstructed the framework with an early childhood setting in mind. Looking at the framework through the lens of early childhood enabled me to think about what we could do (or are already doing) to employ this approach.
• Topic 5.3: Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
Topic 5.3: Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
The article by Sisson (2019) is an excellent example of employing culturally responsive pedagogies. They utilized the local culture and intertwined it into their Reggio foundation for the early childhood setting. I selected this article because I know many of you will be familiar with Reggio and placing it in the context with culturally responsive pedagogies is an exercise you could implement in your own setting.
The article outlines the process and some of the findings from the actual research project. This could lead you into questioning and applying your own small research project (or linking to an organization that can aid you in the process). I have noticed that many of you are in the same Indigenous country and this too could be the beginnings of an understanding/research/collaboration into engaging as a culturally responsive pedagogy.
Indigenous education has its foundation in yarning, and this in turn demonstrates its shared responsibility and collaborative nature. And, it includes you as a participant in a 21st century education setting. It may take time and energy to embark on a research project as the one mentioned by Sisson (2019), but as you can read the benefits are great for all involved.
• Topic 5.4: Aboriginal English
Topic 5.4: Aboriginal English
Aboriginal English
Aboriginal English is more then the words we use. It includes our body language and tone of our voices. It is a very effective form of communication, one that Indigenous People developed so they could talk to early non-Indigenous peoples. Aboriginal English has developed over time and adapts to the country and context in which we live. Therefore Aboriginal English is not stagnate, but transforms with the people who utilize it.
Note – Harrison (2016) Chap 8 is a very good resource here as they explain the context and use of Aboriginal English and Indigenous languages.
Parent Perspective
As a parent I do not expect non-Indigenous teachers to speak Aboriginal English, but I did expect them to accept it within the learning setting. So, what does this actually mean? For many Indigenous children, this can be part of their home languages, so they will be bringing it into the center. I do not expect the educator to correct the language so the children can speak ‘proper’ English, but I do expect the educator to model Australian Standard English for my children.

• Indigenous Perspective Sample
Indigenous Perspective Sample

Author Study – Sally Morgan
EYLF LO 2.4 Children become socially responsive and show respect for the environment

Post Office pack of books that featured Sally Morgan
Photo of Sally Morgan
Sally Morgan is an Indigenous writer who has written books for all ages of children and adults.
With the four books in the packs there are many opportunities to read the books, but also use them as a starting point for an activity.
• Where is Galah? – A game of hide and seek where children where animal masks.
• Joey Counts to Ten – Counting to ten and doing words (ie splashing, hiding etc).
• The Last Dance – Environment sustainability and looking after endangered species
• Bush Bash – Counting to ten and Directions ie up a hill etc

• Module overview
Indigenous community partnership is the foundation for Indigenous education. Each Indigenous community has their own needs and goals for their children, and their histories/cultures are varied. Therefore, when working and moving between Indigenous communities new partnerships need to be formed and/or maintained.

Learning Outcomes
By engaging in this learning you will be working towards achieving the following learning outcomes:

o be able to recognize the importance of community consultation and the participation of Indigenous people in educational environments

Coff, K. (2021). Learning on and from Country: Teaching by incorporating Indigenous relational worldviews. In Shay, M. & Oliver, R. (eds) Indigenous Education in Australia; Learning and Teaching for Deadly Futures. Routledge. Pp190-201 Click Here
Harrison, N & Sellwood, J. (2021). Teaching and Learning in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, 4th Ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Chap 8 – Building community partnerships. Pp227-241
Proud, D. & Raciti, R (2016) Sharing cultures in early childhood settings … Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. | Educating Young Children: Learning and Teaching in the Early Childhood Years ( In Educating Young children – learning and teaching in the early childhood years. Vol 22, No 2, pp 30-32
Mastroianni, A. & Burton, J. (2020). Creating Change through Partnership. SNAICC. 1148_SNAICC_PartnershipBook_LR-Final.pdf

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