NT schools an example for educators

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The impact of two-way leaning in Northern Territory Schools has been recognised in a new publication by the CSIRO.

The book 'Two-way Science: An Integrated Learning Program for Aboriginal Desert Schools' published in December recognises the contribution of schools in desert regions. The work by the scientific organisation aims to support remote Indigenous schools develop learning programs which connect the local community’s cultural knowledge with Western science and the Australian curriculum.

Work on two NT projects – a large map of painted at Ti Tree School and a horizontal format calendar in Pintupi Luritja which was developed with Areyonga and Haasts Bluff schools and Tangentyere Council – are highlighted in the book.

The map at Ti Tree School was painted in around 2010 and has since been used in science, maths and geography classes, as well as for class photos and cultural lessons.

April Pengart Campbell has been an educator at the school for three decades and was instrumental in drawing and designing the map.

She said the map has an important place in their school.

“Kids look at the map when playing on the veranda,” April said.

“We use the map to talk about country, places and kinship.”

The map, which measures around 2x4 metres, is used by students to make ground maps, discuss where bush foods can be found and learn about the habitats of different animals.

April said the map is also used to teach students about their kinship, dances and songs.

“I’m using the map so kids know where they come from, the place that skin name and family connect too,” she said.

“I tell them what the dances for those places are and what the body paint designs are. They must learn these things.”

More information on the publication is available ​online​.

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