Examining remote Australian First Nations boarding through capital theory lenses

John Guenther, Bill Fogarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In Australia, boarding schools and residential facilities for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) students have long been part of the educational landscape. Policy settings are paying considerable attention to boarding schools and residential colleges as secondary schooling options for First Nations students, particularly for those from remote areas. Further, First Nations education is seeing increased investment in scholarship programmes, transition support services and establishment of national boarding standards.There is an emerging body of qualitative evidence about the experiences and outcomes of boarding for remote First Nations students. However, in Australia there are no publicly available evaluations showing quantitative impacts of boarding.In this paper, the authors critically examine boarding using three capital theory lenses: social/cultural capital (based on Bourdieu), human capital (based on Becker), and identity capital (based on Erikson). Using these lenses we intend to go beyond an understanding of impact on individuals towards a more nuanced consideration of the social, cultural, health and well-being consequences of pursuing boarding as strategic policy for First Nations students in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-610
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Studies in Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • boarding schools
  • First Nations education
  • human capital theory
  • social capital
  • identity capital
  • First Nations students
  • Boarding schools
  • Human Capital Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining remote Australian First Nations boarding through capital theory lenses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this