Connecting perspectives - under development
This website recognises Yolŋu as experts on Yolŋu children and their development and, as such, centres their perspectives. By putting Yolŋu perspectives at the centre the website privileges these perspectives while seeking to connect them with more mainstream constructs of early childhood development (e.g. developmental stages, age categories, skill areas).
This section is structured around current research findings from the Growing up Yolŋu Children research project that show what is important for Yolŋu children to learn and how their families support them. It contains essential information for people who work with Yolŋu children and families such as educators, health care professionals and service providers. It aims to make findings more accessible to those unfamiliar with Yolŋu worldviews, practices and priorities. We hope that the videos, commentary and other resources included on these pages will encourage visitors to reflect on their own perspectives and experiences while learning about Yolŋu perspectives and experiences. These reflections can form a productive starting point for ongoing discussions and learning.
We each carry into our practice our own worldviews and core constructs on children and early childhood. Worldviews and conceptual frameworks related to children’s development (including child health, child rearing and child education), such as those provided by the Yolŋu families involved in this research, are largely unavailable in university preparation courses. Sometimes this kind of qualitative data is not recognised or is discounted as anecdotal and unscientific when compared with frameworks provided by Western research. Yet it is increasingly clear that effective implementation of early childhood programs in remote Aboriginal community contexts requires wider understanding of local Aboriginal worldviews and strengths in relation to their children. As such, we hope that this website can fill a gap in understanding by providing access to Yolŋu worldviews and exploring connections between these and other cultural views.