Learning without Boundaries: To Voice Indigenous Children’s Experiences of Learning Places

By Krister Hertting and Eva Alerby.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper focus attention on the specific learning issues that face Indigenous population by exploring the experience of Sámi children in Northern Sweden and Aboriginal children in Central Australia. More specific is the overall aim to explore how Sámi and Aboriginal children’s experiences significant places for learning both in school and in their leisure time. The children’s experiences are made apparent with the aid of creative activity in the form of the production of drawings, combined with subsequent oral comments. The children who were included in the study attend schools for Sámi children in Jokkmokk in the north of Sweden and for Aboriginal children in Alice Springs in the centre of Australia, and were all aged between nine and twelve years. Theoretically the study is based on the life-world phenomenology. The analysis of the empirical material, the drawings, resulted in two themes – ‘Nature as a mediator for learning’ and ‘Mainstream society as a mediator for learning’. The result shows that there are many similarities between the children’s significant places for learning and that both the indigenous culture and the culture of the mainstream society are regarded as significant by the children.

Keywords: Places for Learning, Indigenous Children-sámi & Aboriginal, Phenomenology of the Life-world

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp.633-648. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.790MB).

Dr. Krister Hertting

Post Doctorial Student, Research Fellow, Education, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Norrbotten, Sweden

Krister Hertting is a postdoctoral research fellow in Pedagogy at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. His main research focus is on learning, culture and identity issues, mostly in connection to leisure time, e.g. competitive sport. Hertting is currently doing research on learning and psychosocial well-being among mainstream and indigenous children, sport and cultural identity, and youth identity and doping.

Prof. Eva Alerby

Professor, Education, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Norrbotten, Sweden

Eva Alerby is an associate professor in Education at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. Her main research interests focuses on teaching and learning, and more specifically on people’s experiences of different phenomenon within the educational sphere. Currently Alerby is working with a development and research project concerning learning and psychosocial well-being among mainstream and indigenous children and youth. In addition to this Alerby is interesting in research within the field of philosophy of education.


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