Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Aboriginal Identity and Belonging: Classroom Contexts

Lee Simpson.

In Australia young Aboriginal children beginning their first formal schooling can feel disorientated, marginalised and different. This occurs when the systemic culture of the educational setting does not take into account the child's sense of identity and belonging, or the cultural conditions of learning with which the child is familiar. It is important that these children are given the time to develop 'sociocultural identity kits' so they can maintain this sense of identity and belonging while coming to terms with a system of education where the learning conditions are constructed around the cultural assumptions of the dominant society. This paper will use a case study of a young Aboriginal child during his first year of formal schooling to examine the ways in which he works to establish a 'sociocultural identity kit' that enables him to shape a sense of classroom identity and belonging and to function within the school cultural conditions of learning, while maintaining his own sense of identity and belonging.


Lee Simpson

University of Melbourne

  • Aboriginal education
  • Culture and identity
  • Early years schooling

(Virtual Presentation, English)