Embracing Country as Teacher in Outdoor and Environmental Education.

Karukiyalu Country, Paul Gordon, David Spillman

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

4 Citations (Scopus)


Karulkiyalu Country is in north-western NSW, Australia. It reaches from Byrock in the north, to Cobar in the south, Gundabooka (south of Bourke) to the west and Girilambone to the east. Drawing on learning from Karulkiyalu Country, this chapter provides an introduction to Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing, that can only be more deeply accessed through extended periods of time looking, listening and learning on and from Country. Here, Country as teacher disrupts the dominance of anthropocentrism in education where the natural environment is either disregarded as the passive backdrop to unfolding human experiences and/or positioned as an obstacle to be overcome, and where teacher equals human, predominantly or exclusively. Country holds Lore which is the body of knowledge for that Country, held largely in stories that belong to Country. Local Indigenous people were, and in many places still are, the custodians for these stories. In this chapter we offer Damu Paul Gordon’s 6 Ls as a teaching and learning process that educators can use to enact Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing with students to develop their stories and introduce Country as teacher. We will also highlight the necessity of building relationally-based, mutually-beneficial partnerships with local Indigenous people to access stories from and for Country.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Explorations in Outdoor and Environmental Education
EditorsGlyn Thomas, Heather Prince, Janet Dyment
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030759803
ISBN (Print)9783030759797
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Explorations in Outdoor and Environmental Education
ISSN (Print)2214-4218
ISSN (Electronic)2214-4226


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