Taronga Zoo Break Out

Taronga Zoo AnimalsTaronga Zoo Break Out 

Taronga Zoo Break out is a  story written by the Indigenous students of Singleton High School for the school Community in Singleton, New South Wales.  It is an example of how  symbol and metaphor can support the development of student self-awareness and engagement in the process of learning.  Developing a rich and local language for learning, that links to the collective consciousness of a community through metaphors and symbols, is a crucial prerequisite for deep inquiry-based learning. 

The story was  ratified by the Wonnaruah elders,  illustrations are byKerry-Anne at Black Butterfly Designs and the following people helped in the facilitation of the story writing: Tim Small, Bristol, UK and Deirdre Heitmeyer, Jennifer Campbell and Narelle McCormack of the Ka-Wul Indigenous Education Centre.

Schools at the hub of community engagement

This seminar given by Tess McPeake of the Smith Family in Australia, describes a programme which engages parents in learning for themselves and their families. Tess described the evaluation of the project and drew on extant research which identifies important elements of learning in the community, which enhance student well being and engagement. Lea 2012 Evaluation of Smith Family Girls inthe Middle UoS Emerson Fear Sanders parental-engagement-in-learning-and-schooling

A video about Parent Yarns can be viewed here……

Ngambara Fimityatit: Learning Together in Daly River


These murals of a Barramundi and a Brolga have been painted by the community in Daly River, Northern Territory, Australia, to remind everyone about how the community and the children in St Francis Xavier Catholic School are learning and achieving together.  The project, led by Miriam Rose Bauman and Julianne Willis, draws everyone in the school community together to engage in learning and change.  The vision of the project is summed up in the title Ngamara Fimityatit – which means

When we learn together, sharing + living the same language for learning, we will be empowered to create a new story for our future…

It’s about bringing together local traditional knowledge systems with 21century ideas about learning, in order to empower and engage a new generation. For more details of the project you can read the latest update about how  the whole community is engaged in a process of merging two streams into a third way.  Watch the video below made by the students in the school to show how we learn together in Daly River….Animal Powers…..

Ngambara Fimityatit October 2012

Article: “It’s ‘complex’ – Workplace Bullying as a Wicked Problem”

New Article:  It’s ‘complex’ – Systems Thinking and Workplace Bullying

This article written by Damian Stoupe has just been published in the latest edition of Counselling at Work (Autumn 2012).  It draws upon the work of Elinor Ostrom and systems thinking in promoting the use of authentic dialogue as a means of countering the phenomenon of workplace bullying.  Using the notion of wicked problems I suggest we may gain a greater insight into the issues surrounding bullying and be able to challenge the current dominance of event-driven responses in the workplace.

Pedagogy of Hope

Anglican Academy and Secondary School Heads 2012 Conference 

The seminar outlined the key ideas from research projects tracking back to 2000 and present the idea the learning is a journey of Authentic Enquiry, which moves from the personal to the public. It starts with identity, story and purpose, moves through learning power and the personal qualities needed for engagement in new learning opportunities, the selection, manipulation and generation of knowledge for a chosen purpose, and culminates in competence – the capability to engage in the real world. From a learners perspective it completes the following: I AM, I CAN, I KNOW, I SERVE.

For more details of the research behind these ideas check out the publications and absracts on this site..