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Learning Communities

About Us

The Learning Communities research group works with the wider community to understand processes and dynamics that lead to knowledge generation, skill development, and adoption of cultural practices. Some of our research focuses on regenerating old Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing, making them relevant and meaningful for contemporary society, particularly for schooling, through culturally continuous processes such as the 6Ls, Googar story, and ‘stories for Country’ pedagogy. This is for the specific purpose of promoting a place-based, Country-centric way of living and being, where we come to know, love and learn to care for the places we inhabit. We understand the term ‘community’ to include all the Earth-kin of a place – plants, animals, sites, geographical features such as rivers, mountains, plains, swamps, seasons, fire, wind, and human beings too.

Our research also focuses on working with families of young children in developing a shared understanding of environments that promote young children’s self-awareness and self-management processes necessary for creating positive learning dispositions early in life.

Key Research Themes

Much of our work focuses on the following core themes:

  • Country-centrism through Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing in education
  • Arts and Culture / "Artistic knowing"
  • Creating environments that promote learning and wellbeing in the early years

Programs of Research

Diverse ways of knowing, being and doing in education

This research program focuses on developing alternative educational practices which honour Indigenous and non-Eurocentric ways of being, knowing and doing, particularly through engaging place-based methodologies which enact learning with, and from, Country.

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Creating environments that promote learning and wellbeing in the early years

This research program aims to make a difference to the life of educators, families and their young children by working with families, education providers, and community organisations to identify environmental characteristics and relational dynamics that support young children in developing self-awareness and self-management strategies to promote positive dispositions for learning.

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Staff

Senior Lecturer Dr Rohan Nethsinghe

Rohan Nethsinghe

Senior Lecturer - Creative Arts
Faculty of Education

Assoc Prof Deborah Pino-Pasternak

Deborah Pino-Pasternak

Associate Professor - Early Childhood Education and Community
Faculty of Education

Assistant Prof David Spillman

David Spillman

Assistant Professor - Teacher Education
Faculty of Education

Assistant Prof Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Assistant Professor - Teacher Education
Faculty of Education

Contact

For further information about our research, please contact us.