Batchelor Institute » Both-ways learning
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Both-ways Learning

Indigenous students come to Batchelor as part of their life’s learning journey. They bring with them their own knowledge, language/s and culture and come as adults with previous life and education experience. They journey with Batchelor and continue to journey with their home community and family, at the same time.

While they are learning at Batchelor, they are building on their knowledge and skills. Students have these in both Indigenous knowledges and ways of learning; and in Western knowledges and ways of learning. Students, lecturers and support staff all journey together. Through this journey a rich and supportive teaching and learning environment is created. This learning is situated sometimes on campus, and sometimes on the community, sometimes at work. Some students do workshops at their home community; some students travel to campus for workshops. The learning at Batchelor builds on learning from home and also contributes to the knowledge that students share in their home communities. For many students, this means validating their new knowledge and learning with their elders. Batchelor graduates are highly skilled, bicultural leaders with a strong identity and skills in learning and problem-solving.

(Ober, R & Bat, M 2007, ‘Paper 1: Both-ways: the philosophy’, Ngoonjook: a journal of Australian Indigenous issues, no.31, pges.64-86)

We conduct cross-cultural training for staff and have completed an internal research project and created support resources around our philosophy of practice. We also held Both-ways talking circles to bring together staff and students to discuss teaching and learning practices at the Institute as well as holding a Both-ways student forum.

‘Keeping language strong is a vital part of keeping Indigenous cultural traditions strong across Australia and is one of the central visions of Batchelor Institute along with both-ways learning.’Professor Jeannie Herbert

The Both-ways philosophy is so strong within the life of the Institute, that we have made it a cornerstone to our graduate attributes.


Programs are designed to enable a Batchelor Institute graduate to:

  • embrace a both-ways philosophy in lifelong learning and professional practice
  • have self confidence and a strong sense of identity
  • value learning, critical analysis, creativity and Indigenous scholarship
  • be a strategic thinker who can make and implement decisions
  • appreciate, value and operate in culturally and intellectually diverse environments
  • work professionally and ethically, independently or with others
  • accept individual and community responsibility and obligations.