Country as Teacher: Using stories from and for Country in Australian education for social and ecological renewal

Ben Wilson, David Spillman

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


For some time there has been a significant body of educationalists, social scientists, and researchers who have critiqued the current neoliberal ideology that underlies the Australian schooling system (Altman, 2009; Fogarty et al., 2017; Lingard et al., 2013). These voices are generally united in the belief that the current pedagogical and strategic approaches outlined in the Australian Curriculum have proved themselves inadequate not only for improving the academic performance of Australian students, but also fail to meet the ambitions outlined in the foundational document of Australian schooling, the Mpartwe Declaration. While the critique has long been established, there have been few attempts to explore radically different pedagogical approaches modelled on an entirely different set of epistemological beliefs. Teaching and learning has been occurring in Australia for tens of thousands of years as place-focused, ecocentric pedagogies. Learning from Country through extended more-than-rational encounters, and stories from and for Country are central to these educative processes. In this chapter, we explore stories from and for Country and consider how such stories can be located and incorporated into teaching and learning within Australian schools as a challenge to the current neoliberal paradigm.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Education for Democracy
Subtitle of host publicationCreative Responses to Local and Global Challenges
EditorsStewart Riddle, Amanda Heffernan, David Bright
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000506648
ISBN (Print)9780367703431
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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