Art and Identity: Secondary Students Discovering a "Sense of Self" through Creating Artworks and Webpages

Jennifer Munday, Jennifer Rowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article reports on a Koorie art club for junior secondary students at a middle years college in regional Australia. The art club started in 2011 as a lunchtime refuge for Koorie students and was formalized into a time-tabled class in 2013 when it expanded to include non-Indigenous and primary students. Reflections on the evolution from art club to an art class demonstrate a learning process that exposed an opportu- nity for adolescents to use creative arts as a vehicle for the discovery of self and heri- tage. The learning model that evolved appeared to the researchers to provide a fertile environment for ePortfolios to be introduced. A pilot project was undertaken to analyze the model and consider the addition of ePortfolios for the students. Qualitative data in the form of interviews, observations, and student artwork and stories were collected and analyzed. The outcomes of the program uncover several issues of indigeneity in the current millennium, including the need to create opportunities for the discovery of heritage and the support for adolescents who possibly know they don't know all there is to know about themselves. The evolution of the art club is an exemplar of authentic learning where facilitators listen to the students and scaffold learning through commu- nity knowledge and support. The learning model is ongoing and has longevity, with the Koorie art club now acknowledged in the school's curriculum as a Koorie art class and current students using their accomplishments to consider their personal futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Journalab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples' Cultures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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