78 research outputs found

    Aboriginal girls circle: enhancing connectedness and promoting resilience for Aboriginal girls

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    This report presents an evaluation of the Aboriginal Girls’ Circle, an intervention targeted to increase social connection, participation and self-confidence amongst Aboriginal girls attending secondary schools. Overview The Aboriginal Girls’ Circle (AGC) is an intervention targeted to increase social connection, participation and self- confidence amongst Aboriginal girls attending secondary schools. Researchers from the University of Western Sydney (UWS)’s School of Education sought to evaluate the AGC pilot undertaken at Dubbo College and to provide recommendations for the program’s further development. The following specific aims were outlined for this pilot research. 1. To determine the effects of the AGC for participants’ resilience, connectedness, self-concept and cultural identity, 2. To investigate and track the development of culturally appropriate tools and methods for measuring these constructs, and 3. To evaluate the relative effectiveness of various components of the program and implementation processes. Ethical protocols for working with Aboriginal communities were an important aspect of the research design, which was approved by the UWS Human Research Ethics Committee and by the by the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The research was undertaken in two stages, beginning with a consultation process that sought the views of community Elders, the AGC program developers and key school-based personnel. The first stage of the research involved field observations of the AGC in action, together with a series of interviews and focus groups involving participants, group leaders, community Elders and school staff. The second stage used quantitative methods to measure the effects of the program on key variables relating to student connectedness, resilience, cultural identity and self-concept

    Theory and research on bullying and racism from an Aboriginal Australian perspective

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    This paper offers a brief review of research on the impact of bullying and racism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within Australia. The overarching emphasis was on the variety of physical, social, mental, and educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth, whilst also critiquing the prevailing literature with regard to its inclusion and sensitivity towards the importance of culture and connected values. Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research setting, although a strong base of research on the impact of racism has emerged, research on the impact of bullying is more recent. In addition, while there may be considerable overlap as to the individual impact of bullying and racism, racism research has identified a wider cultural/identity-threat that bullying research (with a few exceptions) has largely ignored. As a result, there is a need to be sensitive to cultural differences with regard to both the types and effects of racism and bullying, and that efforts to understand and to lessen the prevalence of racism and bullying should be framed within the development of a culturally sensitive and secure framework (Coffin, 2008)

    Final Report: Evaluation of the AIME Outreach Program

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    The AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) Program was established in 2005 when 25 students from the University of Sydney volunteered to work with 25 Indigenous children from local high schools. Since 2005 more than 3000 mentors have been recruited to work with 3542 Indigenous school students in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. The AIME Program is based on the recruitment of university students as mentors who provide advice and personal support to Indigenous school mentees from years 7 to 12. Its overall goals are to improve retention rates of Indigenous high school students to Year 12 and to encourage the transition of Indigenous students to university

    Healing the wounds of the heart

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    Bubalamai Bawa Gumada is D'harawal for Healing the Wounds of the Heart or Spirit and the video itself is from an Australian Research Council funded project under the same name (Ref. DI0882472). The video has sought to capture the voices of respected Aboriginal community members and Aboriginal Elders who spoke of their experiences and understanding of racism, and offers advice to future generations (both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) on how to fight the negative effects of racism. Length: 27 mins. Executive producer and photography - G. Bodkin-Andrews

    Seeking resolutions for the inequities within Indigenous education : unearthing causal psychosocial constructs that impact upon educational outcomes

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    A growing number of demographic studies have highlighted the disadvantaged status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across nearly all educational settings, ranging from the pre-school to university environments. Despite these studies relying heavily upon descriptive statistical techniques, there is a lack of strong quantitative research examining potential factors that may contribute to this disadvantaged status of Indigenous Australian students, especially within the discipline of educational psychology. With this in mind, this investigation attempted to quantitatively unravel the causal role of varying psychological determinants that may impact upon the academic status of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian students within the secondary education system. Of the potential psychological determinants examined, multiple dimensions of self-concept, motivation and perceptions of racial discrimination are scrutinized for their impact upon Indigenous and non-Indigenous students‟ subjective educational outcomes (i.e., students‟ aspirations to complete Year 12 of high school, school enjoyment and perceived usefulness of school for achieving future goals) and objective educational outcomes (standardised maths and spelling achievement). To more confidently draw valid and reliable conclusions, three separate statistical studies were conducted, whereby Study 1, using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) techniques, sought to ascertain the psychometric properties of the measures, in addition to determining the cross-cultural validity of the measurement instruments through CFA invariance testing between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous samples. Study 2, through Multiple Indicator Multiple Cause Modelling (MIMIC), closely examined differences in the response patterns for all the measurement instruments to identify significant differences between the two cultural groups. In addition, Study 2 also ran preliminary Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) path analyses on the first time-wave of data to ascertain the cross-sectional predictive power of the psychological indicators over the varying educational outcomes for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, independent of home Socio-Economic Recourses (SER). Finally, Study 3 utilized SEM causal modelling techniques across two time-waves of data to determine the extent to which each of the psychological indicators was able to causally influence educational outcomes independent of the impact of previous measures of the educational outcomes upon themselves, and SER

    Wiritjiribin : the first lyrebird

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    The article offers an analogous resemblance of the old woman Wiritjiribin, a wise grandmother who cares for the children in times of wildfires to the instincts of lyrebirds for survival during times of danger. It narrates on the incident of the wildfire and the immediate responses of human and animals to seek refuge and safety. It adds that even the wildlife has instincts to recognize the safe place to hide during times of trouble.3 page(s

    Untangling the web : reports of self-concept, academic motivation and perceived discrimination for indigenous secondary students

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    Recently, a new direction has emerged within the field of educational psychology that has sought to address the inequities between Indigenous Australian students and the wider Australian student population. More specifically, this direction is aimed at accurately identifying key psychological variables that influence educational outcomes for Indigenous students above and beyond the limited focus of socio-economic status (Craven & Marsh, 2004; Bin-Sallik, 2005). In adhering to this new psychological emphasis on understanding Indigenous Australian education, this paper shall examine what relations perceived discrimination may hold with two important multi-faceted psychological constructs. That is significant relations between varying facets of Indigenous students’ self-concept and academic motivation will be examined with regard to perceptions of discrimination. The results emphasise the need to more fully understand what unique relations perceived discrimination may hold with important psychological constructs for Indigenous students and how future research must address these relations when seeking to understand inequities in educational outcomes for Indigenous students

    Multifaceted self-concept of indigenous Australian secondary students : structure and relations to other academic variables

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    In response to recent calls for the development of culturally relevant and applicable quantitative instruments for research into the educational disadvantages suffered by Indigenous Australian students, Bodkin-Andrews, Craven & Marsh (2005) analysed the construct-validity of the Self-Description Questionnaire II (short version - SDQII-S) within a strong Indigenous sample. Although their results supported the structure of the 11-factor self-concept model, problems were identified with oppositely worded items within each factor. With this result in mind, this paper also examined secondary students’ response patterns to the SDQII-S, and sort to modify the SDQII-S where necessary. Additionally, what relations the SDQII-S may have held with other influential academic variables (e.g. absenteeism, perceived school instrumentality and future goal efficacy) were examined. The results again demonstrate that the SDQII-S can be a psychometrically sound and robust measure of Indigenous students’ self-concepts, and also hold important relations with other important academic variables

    The mental health of indigenous Australians : inequities and new directions

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    Psychological research exploring the notions of mental health can be drawn from a wide array of traditional theoretical perspectives, yet with this diversity of theoretical foundations, complications have arisen as to the specific nature of mental health itself. Various positions have embraced notions of mental disorders, mental illness, mental problems and psychological wellbeing, all of which are conceptually differing notions. This difficulty in pinpointing the nature of mental health becomes even more crucial as an increasing number of cross-cultural studies highlight the inequities faced by minority groups with regard to mental health standards around the world. Within Australia, the most disadvantaged population across all life indicators are Indigenous Australians and recent research has shown that trends in the mental health status of Indigenous Australians unfortunately conforms with regard to the multitude of other inequities they are forced to endure. The focus of this paper shall be to review recent research examining the inequities suffered by Indigenous Australians, with a close regard given to mental health issues and future directions in addressing inequities in mental health

    New solutions for addressing indigenous mental health : a call to counsellors to introduce the new positive psychology of success

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    Australia's 'black' history has had and continues to have a pervasive and adverse impact on Indigenous Australians. In fact, Indigenous Australians are the most disadvantaged Australians based on all socioeconomic indicators that serve to drive life potential. There is also a dearth of scholarly research available, particularly in relation to Indigenous children in the schooling sector and mental health. However, recent research with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations offers new, potentially potent, solutions. In this article we provide (a) a rationale for Indigenous mental health being a significant social issue of our time, (b) a summary of some recent research findings pertaining to mental health of young Indigenous Australians, (c) outline why a positive psychology approach offers a new solution for intervention with specific reference to the importance of the self-concept construct for Indigenous students, and (d) call upon counsellors, practitioners, and policy makers to implement and evaluate the latter approach
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