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Beyond "navel-gazing" and "mush": Learning about identity in Australian classrooms


Brett, P, Beyond "navel-gazing" and "mush": Learning about identity in Australian classrooms, Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, 12, (1) pp. 3-17. ISSN 2047-1734 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 Symposium Journals Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.2304/csee.2013.12.1.3


This article explores how teaching about identity in Australia has been framed by the recent historical and political context. It analyses the influential characterisation of Australian identity during John Howard's period in office between 1996 and 2007. The findings of Australian education researchers relating to young people's sense of what it means to be Australian are reviewed. The author goes on to discuss the curriculum content, language, and underpinning intellectual frameworks of key areas of the emerging Australian Curriculum. Methodologically, the article draws upon the tools of critical policy and discourse analysis. The History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship curricula and related cross-curricular priorities are analysed in relation to their articulation of learning about identity. Some conclusions are drawn as to how Australian teachers can best be supported to address issues relating to identity in their school contexts. The author argues that teachers need help in developing the skills and confidence to see the emerging Australian Curriculum as a framework and not a straitjacket which prevents them from exploring unarticulated identity issues. He further concludes that there need to be curriculum opportunities to explore the political dimensions of identity issues in critical and participative ways.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brett, P (Dr Peter Brett)
ID Code:85767
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2013-08-07
Last Modified:2017-07-17
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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