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

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Indigenous Identity Formations, Difference, Literacy and Learning: The Subjective Perspective of a Diasporic Maori Living in Australia

Stella Coram.

In the tradition of pedagogy of freedom articulated by Dewey (1914), Freire (1998) and Apple (2000), progressive thinking has it that an Aboriginal curriculum is crucial to the identity of indigenous young people in Australia (Christie, 1988; Groome and Hamilton, 1995; Beetson, 1997). However, implicit in setting a different benchmark for indigenous learning is the deeply embedded notion that indigenous students struggle to meet national standards. Thus, an Aboriginal pedagogy, important though it is, may inadvertently override the need for indigenous achievements in mainstream curriculum. Given as identity and education go hand in hand, I offer as a diasporic (dislocated) Maori a reflective and subjective account of my identity formations and education in rural (and racist) New Zealand to explain how this influences my theorising of Australian indigenous education.


Stella Coram  (Australia)
PhD Student
Faculty of Education
Monash University

I am Maori PhD student researching the relevance of indigenous role modelling, utilising elite athletes, to indigenous education policy at Monash University, Melbourne. My research background is race and sport in Australia for which I received my MA (sociology) from La Trobe University, Melbourne.

  • Indigenous
  • Identity
  • Difference
  • Learning

(30 min Conference Paper, English)