Community knowledge in formation: narrative learning for Indigenous children

Hooley, Neil and Ryan, Maureen (2008) Community knowledge in formation: narrative learning for Indigenous children. In: Annual Conference of Amercian Educational Research Association, 24-28 March 2008, New York. (Unpublished)


Indigenous education in Australia has not been successful for two main reasons. First, there has not been a close and respectful relationship established between schools and their local Indigenous communities so that the purpose, process and outcomes of schooling can be constantly discussed and refined. Second, the white curriculum has found it extremely difficult to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, history and culture so that school subjects can relate to daily community life. Both problems stem from a highly conservative view of schooling and society. Australian Indigenous peoples make up only a very small proportion of the population and many schools will only have a small number of Indigenous students enrolled, if at all. Teachers may feel that they lack appropriate background knowledge when working with Indigenous children and may be uncertain of how to transform the white curriculum so that it is more culturally inclusive. This chapter describes the development of narrative curriculum and the identification of exemplars of knowledge so that the regular programs offered by neighbourhood schools can be respectful of Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, It suggests community learning circles as the main organisational arrangement to enable the participation of Elders, family members and children in democratic school life.

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 330000 Education
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Keywords Indigenous education, narrative curriculum, narrative research, Australia
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