"I want to become something": the participation, choices and success stories of Aboriginal youth in education

Lynette Mariee Henderson-Yates

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] Aboriginal Australians experience a range of wellbeing issues that limit their chances of achieving optimum levels in health, education and employment. Education is significant in people being able to lead healthy, happy and productive lives. This study has been undertaken in response to persistent concerns about the academic underachievement of Aboriginal Australian youth; it does so by turning to Aboriginal youth engaged in education at the time of this study. There are two aims of this research. First, the research explores the perspectives of Aboriginal youth, between the ages of 15 years and 24 years, about their participation, choices and success in education. Second, the research compares these perspectives across three case study sites; one was in a rural location and two were in urban locations. There were three theoretical approaches guiding this study: Aboriginal Terms of Reference which was used as a reference point for understanding the stories of Aboriginal youth; interpretivism (specifically symbolic interactionism) selected to make known and explore the participants’ perspectives; and critical theory employed to reveal issues of power implicit in both the participants’ stories and in the detailed in-depth analysis of the meta conceptual themes to emerge. Data were collected through participant and non-participant observations and semi-structured interviews. A total of 30 Aboriginal youth participated in the study. Data were analysed using data reduction, data display and verifying conclusions. There were both enablers and constraints on the participation, choices and success of the Aboriginal participants in their education.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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