Playing as becoming: Sharing Australian Aboriginal Voices on Play

Fasoli, Lyn, Wunungmurra, Alison, Ecenarro, V and Fleet, A (2010) Playing as becoming: Sharing Australian Aboriginal Voices on Play. In: Play in Early Childhood Education: Learning in Diverse Contexts. Oxford University Press, Sydney, pp. 215-232. ISBN 0195569040

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Abstract

Young Indigenous children in Australia grow up in a range of cultural contexts. By sharing Indigenous stories about play, this chapter provides interesting perspectives on play that challenge conventional approaches. The Indigenous stories highlight the importance of play as the prime way for children to learn their culture. Children learn incidentally and explicitly by participating in the everyday activities of both adults and other children. They also learn by observing, listening to and imitating ‘what counts’ in their communities. This chapter explores the concept of play as a way Indigenous children learn to be Indigenous, to embody their culture and to learn the adults’ views on how to ‘be’ in a community. The authors of Chapter 12 use stories/narratives to develop insights into play. Some of the stories are based on the two Indigenous authors’ reflections on their own play as children, the play of children they observe in the present and their research on play. The non-Indigenous authors also share the insights into play they have gained from life and experience with Indigenous people. A research project on play called ‘Talking Pictures’ is discussed where young Indigenous children took photographs of playful events that became the focus of reflective conversations with their families and the researchers. These conversations about the
messages embedded in play objects and activities (which are replicated in this chapter) invite readers to reflect critically on the everyday activities of play and their cultural interpretations. Through these conversations, issues are raised about the imposition of mainstream play
discourses that may, in Australia, not only interrupt core cultural narratives but also privilege mainstream, usually conventional Western, ways of being.

Item Type: Book Section
Field of Research: 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Date Deposited: 19 May 2011 03:15
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2011 00:32
URI: http://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/id/eprint/235

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