The meaning of “Yindyamarra-dhuray Yalbilinya”
This is developed from Wiradjuri words meaning:
Yindyamarra – respect, be gentle, polite, honour, do slowly.
-Dhuray - having
Yalbilinya – speak when bidden, learn.
So the meaning behind this process is “Having respect, learn”.
This came from work at Kelso Public School by the school's Aboriginal Education Team, who developed a learning framework and framework of values for the school from five local Dreaming sites and stories in the Bathurst area. The team worked with the 8ways process at a very high level of cultural integrity, to innovate a framework specific to their mob.
This painting is their framework. Here is the way they explain it:
The picture shows 5 distinct symbols. Each of these symbols represents a different Aboriginal site in the Bathurst and surrounding region, the High Five expectations and the lesson to learn.
- A platypus, to represent Flat Rock, to be respectful and how to show respect.
- A message stick, to represent Windradyne, to be proud and how to show pride.
- A volcano, to represent Wahloo (Mount Panorama), to be safe and how to keep your cool.
- Two hands, one larger than the other, to represent Black Fellas Hands, to stay on task and how to learn from others.
- A waterway, to represent Wambuul ( Macquarie River), to be responsible and to learn how to give back.
"The spiral line radiates out from the platypus to demonstrate a continuous journey of learning through all areas. All of the outer sites link back to the platypus as all learning needs to be done with respect. Inside the linking paths are small stepping stones. These stones remind us to take small and measured steps, so that we don’t race ahead and miss some of the lessons being taught. These stones are there for the students to have their lesson content scaffolded for them, so they know where to step and the path to follow. There is a distinct line that passes through the entire picture. This is the most important message. This line represents the song line. This is to show that the messages and lessons should be carried from one country to another. Where ever the students go they should carry these lessons with them."
Each site is aligned with one of the school's five PBL values of respect, safety, on-task, responsibility, pride. These have been placed in a specific order to provide steps in a learning sequence that correspond with learning stages in traditional law. The team has developed a unit planning template for staff members to help them follow this process.
The orientation phase of a unit or lesson is linked to the Flat Rock site and Platypus Story, and the value from this is respect. In this first phase the topic is introduced with real-world relevance made explicit through the sharing of stories, links to students' prior knowledge and sharing of community and cultural knowledge relating to the topic. Place-based activities also come in here, with environmental perspectives included to link the topic to understandings of land and place.
The planning phase is linked to Wahloo, Mt Panorama, and to the Dreaming Story there. The value is safety. You make sure students are safe not just physically, but emotionally, culturally and intellectually in relation to the lessons, learnings and tasks ahead. You explicitly map out for them the entire learning experience, so that they know the path ahead and can anticipate and solve problems. You show a model of the work they are to produce and provide explicit criteria for success. You'll find that shame and misbehaviour decreases as cultural/intellectual safety increases. Safety comes from making learning plans explicit.
The supported learning phase is linked to the Black Fullas Hands sacred site. The value associated with this is engagement (on-task). This is where the teacher supports students by explicitly modelling and instructing in the essential skills, structures and language needed to complete assessment tasks.
The independent learning phase is linked to Wambul - the Macquarie River. The value associated with this is responsibility. This is where students take charge of their learning and work independently on assessment tasks.
The evaluation/celebration phase is linked to Windradyne's grave. The value associated with this is pride. This is where students present their work to the school and more importantly to community, to return the knowledge to the community for local benefit and celebration.
Here is what the team wrote to describe the process of developing this framework:
"Yindyamarra-dhuray Yalbilinya was created after a two day workshop with Tyson Yunkaporta at Kelso Public School.
Tyson was invited to come and speak to the staff about integrating the Aboriginal 8 Ways of learning into the curriculum. We completed the first of these days as a staff development opportunity on the Monday of the ANZAC Day long weekend. The second day involved Tyson giving demonstration lessons in the classroom to show how the 8 Ways of Learning could be integrated into the Reading to Learn Process.
During these two days we also included one of our elders, Bill Allen, to join us. Bill then took us all on a cultural tour and experience to “Brucedale”, where Windradyne’s Grave is.
On the Tuesday, Tyson Yunkaporta, Bill Allen, Leanna Carr-Smith (an Indigenous worker in the school), Mary Kennedy (Aboriginal Education Officer) and Cassie Hayes (Teacher), were in deep discussion about the need to teach the Indigenous children in the school the lessons they need through their culture.
After discussions about the fact that Kelso Public School is a PBL (Positive Behaviour Learning) school, it was decided that the stories of the Dreaming in our local area taught the same lessons. As Tyson, Leanna and Bill were in deep discussion about what local sites linked with the school expectation, it was clear to see that a process could be made from this. Cassie and Tyson worked on linking the 8 ways of learning to the high five expectations and the Quality Teaching framework as well as the sites and the Reading To Learn Sequence.
Cassie, Mary and Leanna worked on choosing symbolic representations of the sites to create a picture to show the process."