Publication Date



It is well known that Australian Indigenous children, like many other Indigenous children from around the world, statistically perform less well in meeting the minimum reading standards than the general school population. Buried beneath the performance data are children who bring to their schooling unique experiences that shape and underpin their readiness and willingness to learn. Rarely are stories told that do not perpetuate the dominant discourse of failure, but this is one of them. Adopting a person-in-context perspective, this chapter presents a descriptive account of an Indigenous Australian student and the environmental factors that supported her remarkable improvement in reading and, in turn, her ability to identify as a reader. Wherever possible, the student’s voice has been given priority to tell her narrative of change and thus permits an emic understanding of the significance the student–teacher relationship had in supporting her reading growth and the development of her self-esteem and identity as a reader


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

Document Type

Book Chapter

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.