Civic action and learning with a community of Aboriginal Australian
young children


Louise Gwenneth Phillips

University of Queensland

Kerryn Moroney

Civics and citizenship are increasingly used in early childhood education policy, but what citizenship and civic learning can be for young children is under-researched and lacking definition. Drawing from the Australian findings of the major study Civic action and learning with young children: Comparing approaches in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, this article shares evidence of civic capacities that a community of young Aboriginal Australian children demonstrate in an early childhood education and care centre. Communitarian citizenship theory provides a framework for citizenship that is accessible for young children by focusing on families, communities and neighbourhoods. Cultural readings of illustrative examples on how young Aboriginal children express civic identity, collective responsibility, civic agency, civic deliberation and civic participation are discussed, highlighting how cultural values shape civic action. Links to state and national early childhood curricula are provided to guide others to further support civic learning in early childhood education.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 42 Number 4 December 2017.

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