Narrative Life

Democratic Curriculum and Indigenous Learning

  • Neil Hooley

Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 7)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Neil Hooley
      Pages 19-33
    3. Neil Hooley
      Pages 35-50
    4. Neil Hooley
      Pages 51-65
  3. Community

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Neil Hooley
      Pages 69-84
    3. Neil Hooley
      Pages 85-99
    4. Neil Hooley
      Pages 101-116
    5. Neil Hooley
      Pages 117-133
  4. Commitment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 135-135
    2. Neil Hooley
      Pages 137-156
    3. Neil Hooley
      Pages 157-175
    4. Neil Hooley
      Pages 177-194
  5. Change

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 213-213
    2. Neil Hooley
      Pages 215-231
    3. Neil Hooley
      Pages 233-251
    4. Neil Hooley
      Pages 253-267

About this book


Written with educational practitioners in mind and set in a framework of progressive epistemology and pedagogy, this work tackles issues of global concern. It seeks to answer the question of how we structure education for the world’s 370 million indigenous people so as to promote intercultural understanding, maximize opportunity and right colonial wrongs.

Hooley’s work details an innovative curriculum design for indigenous school children based on the principles of participatory narrative inquiry, as well as exemplars of indigenous knowledge. Written from an Australian perspective, the book discusses broad international issues that impact on schooling such as globalisation, democratic education and whiteness and raises significant questions regarding indigenous culture and knowledge.

Taking inspiration from the works of John Dewey and Paulo Freire, Hooley asserts that a curriculum based on participatory narrative inquiry recognises and respects the interests and rights of local indigenous communities. Further, it provides a mechanism for linking with white mainstream curricula through the compilation of portfolios of student work and exemplars of knowledge across all subjects areas. This model views formal schooling as a central aspect of a child’s personal, family and community narrative and does not impose knowledge from without, but constructs knowledge from within. Learning is given an indigenous context and thus two-way inquiry between cultural viewpoints is encouraged.

Narrative Life makes an original contribution to indigenous education worldwide, and does so across all settings of primary and secondary schooling.


curriculum education indigenous education learning literacy mathematics narrative inquiry school whiteness

Authors and affiliations

  • Neil Hooley

There are no affiliations available

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-9734-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4020-9735-5
  • About this book