Learning on the run: traveller education for itinerant show children in coastal and western Queensland

Danaher, Patrick Alan (2001) Learning on the run: traveller education for itinerant show children in coastal and western Queensland. PhD thesis, Central Queensland University. (Unpublished)

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'Learning on the Run' refers to the educational experiences of the primary school children travelling along the agricultural show 'circuits' in coastal and western Queensland. This thesis examines those educational experiences by drawing on the voices of the show children, their parents, their home tutors and their teachers from the Brisbane School of Distance Education, which from 1989 to 1999 implemented a specialised program of Traveller education for these children (in 2000 a separate school was established for them).
The thesis focuses on the interplay among marginalisation, resistance and transformation in the spaces of the show people’s itinerancy. It deploys Michel de Certeau’s (1984, 1986) concept of 'tactics of consumption' and Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1986a) notions of 'outsidedness' and 'creative understanding' to interrogate the show people's engagement with their absence of place, the construction of their otherness and forms of seemingly unproblematic knowledge about their schooling. Data gathering techniques included semi-structured interviews with forty-two people between 1992 and 2000 in seven sites in Queensland – Mackay, Bundaberg (over two years), Emerald, Brisbane, Rockhampton and Yeppoon – and document collection.
The thesis's major finding is that the show people’s resistance and transformation of their marginalising experiences have enabled them to initiate and implement a significant counternarrative to the traditional narrative (and associated stereotypes) attending their itinerancy. This counternarrative has underpinned a fundamental change in their schooling provision, from a structure that worked to marginalise and disempower them to a specialised form of Traveller education. This change contributes crucially to understanding and theorising the spaces of itinerancy, and highlights the broader significance of the Queensland show people’s 'learning on the run'.

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Item Type: Thesis (Non-Research) (PhD)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: PhD Thesis, Central Queensland University. Also held at CQU, see Australasian Digital Theses record at http://adt.caul.edu.au/homesearch/find/?recordid=145767&format=main
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Supervisors: Dr Leonie Rowan; Professor Leo Bartlett
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2007 12:14
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: itinerancy, marginalisation, mobility, Queensland, resistance, show children, transformation, Traveller education
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/1876

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