American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, 2(11), 1015-1022
DOI: 10.12691/education-2-11-3
Open AccessArticle

“…it is not just a game”: Connecting with Culture through Traditional Indigenous Games

Maree DinanThompson1, , Kathryn Meldrum1 and Juanita Sellwood1

1James Cook University, Cairns Campus, QLD 4870 Australia

Pub. Date: November 02, 2014

Cite this paper:
Maree DinanThompson, Kathryn Meldrum and Juanita Sellwood. “…it is not just a game”: Connecting with Culture through Traditional Indigenous Games. American Journal of Educational Research. 2014; 2(11):1015-1022. doi: 10.12691/education-2-11-3


Traditional Indigenous Games (TIGs) have been played in Indigenous Australian communities as a means of teaching children life skills as well as a general leisure pursuit. This paper presents the findings of a small study in one north Queensland public school, Australia, where school students engaged in TIG through their physical education (HPE) classes. Twelve regional games were introduced to students in years five and six. They were played in HPE classes with a focus on inclusivity and gaining an understanding of culture. A culminating TIG carnival was also conducted. Students reported that playing the games and participating in the carnival was a positive experience. All students described the nature of the games in traditional communities, not only as a means of teaching children life skills but as community social practice. Students’ participation resulted in enhanced cultural knowledge and cultural significance.

traditional indigenous games connecting with culture teaching children life skills

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