On Country Learning:  Promoting Remote AustralianResearch page_ECE on country.jpg Aboriginal Children’s Wellbeing and Creativity - this project is funded by the Froebel Trust

On-Country Learning (OCL) is a pedagogical approach to Aboriginal early years education. The approach addresses new ways of meeting the educational aspirations of Aboriginal students, their families and communities.
  The approach consists of class visits to designated places on Country on a weekly or fortnightly basis.  The Elders of the community choose the sites, so that they can teach and nurture a generation of children with the skills, knowledge and values from that Country.
 Through their participation, the children adopt an active role in constructing meaning from their experiences and develop deep understandings. Teachers are supported to connect the experiences on Country with the school curriculum and plan further investigations that germinate from the visits on Country. OCL provides children with educational experiences that are hands-on and relevant. This engages them in a central tenet of their being, Country.
 Our pilot work in two urban and one remote schools provides preliminary evidence that the experience of being involved in OCL improves children’s levels of involvement and wellbeing. This was measured using the Leuven Wellbeing and Involvement Scale (Laevers, 1994). 

Contact: A/Prof Libby Lee-Hammond and Elizabeth Jackson-Barrett

The Biography of Toys Project

Funded by the Department of Culture and the Arts, the City of Fremantle and the City of Kwinana this interdisciplinary project was developed in partnership with the Western Australian Museum and based on my research into Toys found in the Early Childhood Collection of the WA Museum.
The aim of the Biography of Toys project was to positively impact the learning and wellbeing of children who had migrated to Australia via a series of Art/Literacy workshops.
The workshops were conducted in two primary schools. As part of this project, participants were asked to provide survey feedback. As guided by the Art of Being Healthy Framework, the aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness and the impact of the project on participants. Overall 39 children participated in the Biography of Toys project of which 51% participated in all sessions. The average age of participants was 8 years. In addition to Australia, one or more participants had previously lived in Afghanistan, Chile, Croatia, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines and Portugal.

Contact: Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar

Technologies for Socially Inclusive Communities: Mobile technologies to support hospitalised young people was funded by the Young and Well CRC

This project first examined the impact of a year-long innovative professional development program to transform teaching in the hospital context via the integration of mobile technologies with sound content and pedagogical knowledge. It highlights the importance of pedagogy-focused training alongside coaching in a collaborative group setting. The project illustrates what is possible with teachers, university researchers, hospital school leadership and students working together to enable an innovative, relevant and flexible program to be developed.
In the second phase of the study we explored the use of mobile technologies to connect students to their schools, classmates, and families in an effort to reduce their isolation and disrupted schooling experiences. We found that mobile technology use in a hospital school was critical to engage adolescents in learning and keep them up-to-date with schoolwork. Mobile technologies should be available and accessible in hospital for adolescent patients for the purpose of meeting their learning, communication and wellbeing needs. In particular, mobile technology should be used as a therapeutic tool to overcome hospitalized adolescents’ social isolation and improve their wellbeing.
Currently we are planning the next stage of the research in the new Perth Children Hospital for mid 2018.

Contact: A/Prof Dorit Maor