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Playing at the edges: use of playground spaces in South Australian primary schools with new arrivals programmes

Author(s): C. Due | D W. Riggs

Journal: Social Geography (SG)
ISSN 1729-4274

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2010;
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Resettlement in Australia can be a stressful experience for migrants who are largely expected to quickly assimilate into the broader Australian culture. This expectation is heightened for those people who arrive as refugees, and particularly those who arrive without humanitarian visas and must endure mandatory detention. For both migrants and refugees, attempts at establishing themselves or developing a sense of belonging to their new community are likely significantly hindered by the welcome (or otherwise) they are provided with and the terms upon which inclusion is offered. This paper uses a multi-method approach to examine how these issues of belonging and inclusion played out in the use of space in two South Australian primary schools that include a programme (NAP) for new arrived students. The paper considers the way in which NAP and non-NAP students utilise playground spaces, and compares and contrasts these observations with the views of teachers at the schools. Specifically, the findings indicate that NAP students were largely relegated to the margins of the playground and experienced difficulty in claiming school spaces as their own. The paper concludes by making suggestions for schools on the basis of the findings, with a focus upon examining the power relations that exist between NAP and non-NAP students and the role of schools in developing a global understanding of inclusion and exclusion.
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