Building up Skills for Teaching and Learning

Funding: Northern Territory Education Department
Duration: July 2013 – November 2013
Location: Ramingining


The ‘Building up Skills for Teaching & Learning’ (BUST&L) program grew out of the program ‘Building Up Good Supervisor Skills’ (BUGSS) which was run in Arnhemland communities between October 2011 and June 2012.

The BUSTaL program was first run in Ramingining School in 2013.

Each program involves 2 workshops with a period of personal mentoring between them. The very first workshop, in BUSTaL 1, focused on the work which staff do in various roles within the school, and what is required to do this work well. It then explored the idea of mentoring and scaffolded the process of creating a Personal Learning Profile (PLP). These PLPs were used by each participant to choose the areas in which they wanted to be mentored, to build up their knowledge, skills or other capacities within the school. The 2014 program continued this process.

The BUST&L and BUGSS programs use a ‘both-ways’ approach to teaching and learning. This equally values, respects and recognises both Yolŋu and Balanda knowledge traditions and ways of working. Working ’both-ways’ also views both participants and facilitators as teachers and learners – teaching and learning together.

This professional development program is not designed or implemented in the usual way. Rather, it is a mentoring program that aims to identify and build on the knowledge and skills of participants, in their day-to-day striving to fulfill their roles as Assistant Teachers, Tutors and Liaison Officers within the school. The project is intended to respond to the cross cultural context of remote Yolŋu communities in changing and challenging times.