Solutions Lab 35: Transformational Learning – Integrating Bundyi Girri into the Curriculum

As part of the Bundyi Girri project, staff from across the college have been exploring ways to include Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing in their curricula. By doing so, we not only take important steps in our own Reconciliation journeys, but we also support those of our students, giving them transformational learning opportunities that will impact on their lives and work in the future.

But, giving students a genuinely transformational learning experience involves more than simply adding new material to the curriculum. It requires us to embed approaches that go beyond knowledge acquisition, enabling students to consciously make meaning of their lives through self-questioning and challenging the foundational practices of their discipline. Often this process is unsettling for students and it is therefore important to design and deliver activities that support them both emotionally and academically.

In this session, Serene Ho (School of Science) shows how she takes her students on a transformational learning journey through the careful infusion of Indigenous knowledge, culture and perspectives in her curriculum. As part of trying to relate Bundyi Girri to Physical Geography, Serene draws on a range of pedagogical concepts informing indigenous practice. This has helped her create activities to enable students to connect ideas in novel and logical ways, encouraging critical thinking on the relationship between western and Indigenous sciences in the context of climate change, and importantly, what it means to be a geographer on Country. Sometimes, this journey has unsettled her students and Serene will explore how carefully designed reflective activities have helped them to understand and question their own knowledge and values along the way. Finally, through a tour of her online resources, she reflected on how the course has transformed her own thinking, as a geographer and member of the RMIT community.

Also contributing to the conversation Jason Brailey from the Ngarara Willim Centre provided his perspectives on Indigenous education and engagement.

The video below is an edited version of the session, Q&A and technical glitches removed.

If you are interested in learning from the students click here

Additional Resources

Source: Survival International – There you go

Readings/Resources

  • Winchester-Seeto, Theresa, McLachlan, Kathryn, Rowe, Anna, Solomonides, Ian, & Williamson, Kate. (2016). Transformational Learning – Possibilities, Theories, Questions and Challenges. In Learning Through Community Engagement (pp. 99–114). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-0999-0_7
  • Woodley, Carolyn, Fagan, Sean, & Marshall, Sue. (2014). Wadawurrung Dya Baap Ngobeeyt: teaching spatial mapping technologies. Campus-Wide Information Systems31(4), 276–287. https://doi.org/10.1108/CWIS-10-2013-0059

Technical 

Rationale – online argument mapping. Rationale let’s you create, online, argument maps. Argument maps are a great way to increase your critical thinking ability. (paid service)

Kialo-Edu is an alternative free application you could also use for critical thinking tasks with students.

Padlet – enables you to create an online post-it board that you can share with any student or teacher you want. Here’s a blog post on 30 ways to use Padlet in education.

Podcast

In this episode, Natasha Taylor talks to Marion Muliaumaseali’i about her work on the indigenous student journey. They discuss how Marion’s ethnographic work on storytelling, language and knowledge informs her transformative work with students and staff to enhance the teaching and learning experience at RMIT.
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