Never-Never pedagogical aspirations

I watched #TheGhan on Sunday here in Australia on the SBS channel. Like many others (181,000 peak time viewers), I found the 17 hour journey enchanting.

Dan Whelan, the writer and producer, said of the film of the 2997 kilometer journey from Adelaide to Darwin:

We set out to achieve three things: first, the feeling of being immersed on the journey; second, to shoot the landscape from the train in a way that would work to blend with text and pictures on screen; and finally, to keep the journey exciting and make the train a character in the documentary.

All three worked for me. I had lots of time to think about how these three characteristics relate to personal learning journeys.

Up in the Northern Territory part of the journey, south of Katherine, one of Dan’s texts really caught my attention … as the Ghan passed 30 kilometers to the west of Elsey Station Mataranka.

It was a quote from Jeannie Gunn‘s We of the Never Never (1908). She wrote about her experiences of living at Elsey Station:

Called the Never-Never, the Maluka loved to say, because they who have lived in it and loved it, Never-Never voluntarily leave it.

I thought this might be a wonderful pedagogical aspiration on a slow learning journey. Dan’s three aims for the Ghan film do translate into a Never-Never pedagogy:

  • Immersed on the journey
  • A shared landscape to blend resources
  • Keeping the journey exciting

… and being patient with each other and engaged on this voyage of discovery.

Photo Credits

The Ghan (Shane Cubis)

Matt Smithson (Twitter)

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