Learning on Country at Marlkawo
Shirley Djandjomerr is a First Nations leader and educator at Children’s Ground in Marlkawo in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
Here, she shares a story about a blended learning activity at Children’s Ground, where culture, language and health promotion all combine to provide an enriching educational experience:
“On Country learning sessions allow us to watch how our wurdurd (children) grow. Last week we were teaching the wurdurd about the Djang sites – Djurungdjurung and Ngalkordow.
We visited these two special sites and talked about taking care of them. We then went to Miyuku for a swim and fish.
While we were there, Angela caught a burarr (water goanna).
The wurdurd were so excited to show us that they new all the names for body parts in Kunwinjku. They went from the kunkodj (head) to the morlawnoh (tail) and said all the names. It made us proud seeing them share their cultural knowledge and their First Language.
The wurdurd took turns learning how to pull the guts out and clean the burarr up ready for cooking. They had been learning about internal organs and their functions the day before with the health promotion specialist.
When they pulled out the kunnjam (intestines) out of the neck, they washed it out to study it and relate it to their learning from the day before in the Children’s Ground classroom.
This is how we do things at Children’s Ground, we combine the learning we do in the classroom with the learning on Country, everything is done together and supports one another.”