“Kangaroos and Reindeers”: Aboriginal and Sámi Children’s Experiences of Learning Places

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Education systems are created to cater for the needs of majority groups in society. Understanding the educational experiences of minority children is a vital first step towards education systems which are inclusive of all children. This should be an issue of global concern for all those involved in the education of minority children, for example indigenous communities. The paper derives from a joint project between Sweden and Australia. It explores Sámi and Aboriginal children’s experiences of important places for learning in school and in their leisure time. The purpose is to elucidate, interpret and problemize the meaning of their learning experiences. The children’s experience of school is 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 the north of Sweden and for Aboriginal children in the centre of Australia, and were all aged between nine and twelve. Theoretically the study is based on the life-world phenomenology. The result shows that there are many similarities between the children’s important places for learning and that the natural world is of importance for both Sámi and Aboriginal children’s lived experiences.


Keywords: Places for Learning, Indigenous Children - Sámi & Aboriginal, Phenomenology of the Life-World
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Learning without Boundaries,


Prof. Eva Alerby

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

Eva Alerby is a 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 psychosocial well-being among children and youth in the Arctic. In addition to this Alerby is interesting in research within the field of philosophy of education.

Dr. Krister Hertting

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

Luleå, Sweden


Ref: L09P0897