Project lead: Northern Territory Department of Education (NTDE)
Project funding: $10,000 Round 2 2012
The main aim of the project was to capture, record and archive Indigenous teacher stories and knowledge for future generations in an accessible online database. It enables schools to acknowledge the contributions of Indigenous teachers as leaders in their communities and informs leadership development initiatives. It contributes to the preservation of both written and oral language, thus providing a bridge between language and western education. The archive guards against valuable stories being lost over time.
The archive promotes teaching as a career for secondary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The teachers whose stories are contained in the archive are role models for prospective Indigenous teachers. Further, the archive provides prospective teachers from all locations and jurisdictions with insights into Northern Territory public schools from an Indigenous perspective.
The archive utilises the purpose built Community Stories software operated by the Northern Territory Library (NTL) which facilitated a two day training program in its use for four Indigenous NTDE staff (one senior consultant and three teachers) who worked with communities to gather the stories. Also, 15 educators from seven remote communities received three days of IT training, enhancing their own skills while contributing to the archive.
Through the archive, community members are able to annotate and comment on individual items and collections and build a searchable and flexible information base. They will have ownership over local historical and cultural records. The collection will grow as material is donated. Through personal stories about their schools, language, culture and community and walking both worlds, communities can recognise and celebrate the teachers who have modelled strong education values and achievements. This project raises the profile of Indigenous teachers in Northern Territory public schools.
A total of 26 teacher stories from 16 communities were documented in the online living archive.
Online stories archive (still and video) »
MATSITI evaluation conclusions
The project acknowledges and satisfies a local need by making effective use of technology which assists communication within and between remote communities. The project links effectively with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education’s (BIITE) Strong Teachers: Celebrating Indigenous Teachers and their Professional Practice, and together the two projects promoted collaboration between the NTDE, NTL and BIITE. The results of this collaboration included innovative solution based approaches and effective resource management. Further, the professional learning with which participants engaged under these projects resulted in accredited training in two units from the Batchelor Institute’s Indigenous Land and Knowledge course.
The online living archive represents value for money. It serves as a promotional tool appropriate in the remote teaching and learning community context.
Project contact: Barbara Hatton, NT Dept of Education