Recognising aspiration: the AIME program’s effectiveness in inspiring Indigenous young people’s participation in schooling and opportunities for further education and employment
- 1.8k Downloads
A strong feature of the widening participation agenda is improving the aspirations of groups that are underrepresented in higher education. This paper seeks to reposition the utility of this as a focal point of educational interventions by showcasing the success of a mentoring program that takes a different approach. The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) significantly and positively impacts Australian Indigenous high school students’ aspirations to finish school and continue to further study, training or employment. AIME is not read as a classic intervention program for raising aspirations. Instead, AIME builds upon the cultural wealth of participants and adopts an approach that seeks to inspire individuals rather than remediate them. The paper draws on survey data and fieldwork to present an example case study for resisting the assumption that young people’s aspirations are deficit and in need of ‘improving’. The paper describes how AIME works within young people’s ‘windows of aspiration’ to positively impact their engagement in school and further education, training and employment.
KeywordsAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Education
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). (2011). Guidelines for ethical research in australian indigenous studies. Canberra: AIATSIS.Google Scholar
- Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). (2014). 2013 Annual Report. Retrieved from http://www.aimementoring.com/about/reports/.
- Appadurai, A. (2004). The capacity to aspire: Culture and terms of recognition. In R. Vijayendra & M. Walton (Eds.), Culture and public action (pp. 59–84). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bodkin-Andrews, G., Dillon, A., & Craven, R. (2010a). Bangawarra’gumada—Strengthening the Spirit: Causal modelling of academic self-concept and patterns of disengagement for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian students. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 39, 24–39.Google Scholar
- Bodkin-Andrews, G., Harwood, V., McMahon, S., & Priestly, A. (2013). AIM(E) for completing school and University: Analysing the strength of the Australian indigenous mentoring experience. In R. Craven & J. Mooney (Eds.), Seeding success in indigenous Australian Higher education: What research says?. New York: Emerald Publishing.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–257). New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1997). The forms of capital. In H. Lauder, P. Brown, & A. S. Wells (Eds.), Education, culture and economy. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J. C. (1977). Reproduction in education, society and culture. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Craven, R., Yeung, A., Munns, G., Bodkin-Andrews, G., Denson, N., & O’Rourke, V. (2013). Seeding success for Aboriginal Primary School Students. Sydney: University of Western Sydney & NSW Department of Education and Training.Google Scholar
- Dobia, B., Bodkin-Andrews, G., Parada, R., O’Rourke, V., & Gilbert, S. (2014). Aboriginal Girls Circle: Enhancing connectedness and promoting resilience for Aboriginal girls—Final Pilot Report. Bankstown: University of Western Sydney & National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.Google Scholar
- Harlow, L. L. (2014). The essence of multivariate thinking: Basic themes and methods: Basic themes and methods. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Harwood, V., Bodkin-Andrews, G., Clapham, K., O’Shea, S., Wright, J., Kervin, L., & McMahon, S. (2013). Evaluation of the AIME outreach program. Wollongong: University of Wollongong.Google Scholar
- KPMG. (2013). Economic evaluation of the australian indigenous mentoring experience program: Final report. Retrieved from http://www.aimementoring.com.
- Marsh, H. W., Ellis, L. A., Parada, R. H., Richards, G., & Heubeck, B. G. (2005). A short version of the self description questionnaire II: Operationalizing criteria for short-form evaluation with new applications of confirmatory factor analyses. Psychological Assessment, 17(1), 81–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McDonough, P. M. (1997). Choosing colleges: How social class and schools structure opportunity. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- Sarra, C. (2011). Strong and smart: Towards a pedagogy for emancipation—Education for first peoples. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Walter, M., & Andersen, C. (2013). Indigenous statistics: A quantitative research methodology. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.Google Scholar
- Yosso, T., & Garcia, D. (2007). “This is no slum!” A critical race theory analysis of community cultural wealth in culture clash’s Chavez Ravine. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 32(1), 145–179.Google Scholar