Seeing the world through Noongyar eyes

How can Aboriginal ways of seeing the world transform education? Research into Aboriginal Australians, specifically how their contributions can inform contemporary educational practices, are needed to help students, schools and communities sustain Aboriginal knowing, recognise its value to society and bridge learning across and between cultures. For example, using cultural knowledge to better understand weather and its relationships to breeding seasons and availability of food sources can allow synergies between scientific and indigenous Aboriginal knowledge to become apparent.

Education researcher Dr. Khady Ibrahim-Didi and Jason Barrow from Edith Cowan University (Western Australia) are using Tobii Pro Glasses 2 in a small research study “Seeing the world through Noongar eyes’. The study investigates how Tobii Pro Glasses 2 can be used by Aboriginal educators to help others ‘see’ changes in their environment.

Aboriginal Educator in parkland using Tobii2 glasses to point out flora and fauna to early spring (photo credits: Kadhy Ibrahim-Didi, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

Aboriginal Educator in parkland using Tobii2 glasses to point out flora and fauna to early spring (photo credits: Khady Ibrahim-Didi, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

Wearing the Tobii Pro Glasses 2, an Aboriginal educator walked around a parkland location in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia.  It was early spring and as he focused on those signs that indicated the turn of the weather, the Tobii Pro Glasses 2 showed the focus of attention and the order in which he sought those signs. The team then invited a young Aboriginal youth to walk through the same area, wearing the same pair of Tobii Pro Glasses 2. Dr Khady spoke about the value and significance of Tobii Pro Glasses 2 in documenting such knowledge, “It was fantastic! We could see the parallels between the two people, one much more informed than the other, and yet you could see the beginnings of a culturally informed perspective emerging”. Khady and Jason both see the potential for using this tool to show how an Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal child might learn to “see the world through Nyoongar eyes” and for recognising those aspects that might show similarities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal views.

Aboriginal youth focusing on fallen seeds and animal tracks through a pair of Tobii2 goggles as she is inducted into the culturally relevant signs of the types of birds and animals that inhabit the area (photo credits: Kadhy Ibrahim-Didi, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

Aboriginal youth focusing on fallen seeds and animal tracks through a pair of Tobii2 goggles as she is inducted into the culturally relevant signs of the types of birds and animals that inhabit the area (photo credits: Khady Ibrahim-Didi, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

In another instance, Aboriginal elder at ECU, Oriel Joy Green (Bartlett) has also used the Tobii Pro Glasses 2 when she took a number of women, from multiple cultures back to country on a trip to support reconciliation. The trip, named ‘Koorliny Koort Boodja’ (Going to Heart Land), was supported by the City of Stirling. This trip focused on the journey of Oriel and her family. As she explained the significance of the places, the Tobii Pro Glasses 2 informed those with her, including Khady, areas and specific spots that carried such emotional and cultural significance to Oriel and her family. This trip of reconciliation was a celebrated success as the group continue to meet, sharing in a common vision – that of a better more united tomorrow for Australians from all cultures.

Aboriginal Elder Oriel Green pointing out some of the culturally significant areas in her country (photo credits: Kadhy Ibrahim-Didi, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

Aboriginal Elder Oriel Green pointing out some of the culturally significant areas in her country (photo credits: Khady Ibrahim-Didi, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

 

For further updates please contact Dr. Kadhy Ibrahim-Didi .

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