Transforming Lives: Exploring Eight Ways of Learning in Arts-based Service Learning with Australian Aboriginal Communities

Anne Power, Brydie Leigh Bartleet, Dawn Bennett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Within the fields of community music and community arts in Australia, community service learning is gaining prominence as a key pedagogical strategy that connects community service with structured reflection and learning activities (Siebenaler 2005). Arts-based service learning is increasingly being used to bring together university students and community members to work on community-led projects of cultural significance. This arts focus combines well with the service-learning approach as it promotes what Rendon (2009) calls sentipensante (sensing/thinking) pedagogy. Sentipensante pedagogy aims to disrupt entrenched belief systems that divide knowing, thinking and feeling. Such disruption can bring to light experiences that are threshold and transformative. Patricia Cranton, a leading writer on transformative learning, explains that the “elegantly simple” definition of Transformative Learning includes the idea of people changing the way they interpret their experiences and their interactions with the world (2006). In order to flesh these ideas out further within the Australian context, this chapter draws on the reflections of pre-service teachers and arts students from three universities during and after their experiences participating in arts-based service learning with Aboriginal communities. These reflections centre on Yunkaporta’s “8 Ways Framework” (2009, 10), a view of Australian Aboriginal cultural competence that allows the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives and learning techniques. This chapter argues that arts-based service learning can be transformative when participants engage in all the dimensions of the 8 Ways Framework and allow shared knowledge to become wisdom in their lives and practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity Music in Oceania: Many Voices, One Horizon
EditorsBrydie-Leigh Bartleet, Melissa Cain, Diana Tolmie, Anne Power, Mari Shiobara
PublisherUniversity of Hawai‘i Press
ISBN (Print)9780824867003, 9780824892562
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Transforming Lives: Exploring Eight Ways of Learning in Arts-based Service Learning with Australian Aboriginal Communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this