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Conceptualising Itinerancy: Lessons from an Educational Program Designed for the Children of the Showmen's Guild of Australasia
PROCEEDINGS

Annual Symposium of the Postgraduate Student Association,

Abstract

This paper examines itinerancy, particularly educational itinerancy, and the appropriateness of various labels applied to the life style of members of the Showmen's Guild of Australasia. Guild members and their families travel from town to town providing agricultural and equestrian shows. An ongoing study is examining the effectiveness of a distance education program established in 1989 for show children. Researchers interviewed children, parents, and home tutors about curriculum, participant roles, social networks, and work and play. It was found that most respondents referred to Guild members' caravans (i.e. house trailers) as their "homes," and children talked about coming "home" from school to their caravans. On the other hand, most responses to the question, "Where is home for you?", referred to a particular town, rather than to "my caravan." Some blurring of the home/school distinction was also revealed, in that school work (rather than homework) was described as being completed both at the local schools and in the caravans. These varying responses indicate the wide range of experience and understandings that make up the particular form of itinerancy in which show people engage. Additionally, the lifestyle of show members cannot be stereotyped as nomadic, as their lives have definite frontiers and boundaries and some show people are very successful in material terms. This paper concludes that an attempt to characterize educational itinerancy as conforming rigidly to a single and simplistic conceptualization fails to gain credence. Instead, itinerancy emerges as a multilayered, contextualized, and negotiated phenomenon. (LP)

Citation

Danaher, P.A. (1993). Conceptualising Itinerancy: Lessons from an Educational Program Designed for the Children of the Showmen's Guild of Australasia. Presented at Annual Symposium of the Postgraduate Student Association 1993. Retrieved November 29, 2021 from .

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