Advertisement

The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 273–295 | Cite as

The impact of racism on the schooling experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students: A systematic review

  • Nikki MoodieEmail author
  • Jacinta Maxwell
  • Sophie Rudolph
Article

Abstract

We present results of a systematic review of empirical research on racism and the schooling experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, focussing on research published from 1989 to 2016. Our review is part of a series of systematic literature reviews on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in Australia. It attends to diverse manifestations of racism, from institutional and systemic discrimination to everyday microaggressions, and varying levels of analysis, from individual experiences to cohort approaches. This work adopts a critical perspective on disciplinary boundaries and the outcomes discourse within the broad field of education research. Additionally, we discuss the challenges inherent in systematic review inclusion/exclusion criteria related to racism in a field such as education in which racism and discrimination are frequently misrepresented or misreported, for example, as disciplinary and behaviour management issues, disadvantage or as regional and remote education challenges. The review discusses study types and locations, explores how racism is defined and understood and details the effects of racism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Keywords

Race Racism Discrimination Prejudice Indigenous Education 

Notes

References

  1. Blanch, F. R. (2011). Young Nunga males at play and playing up: The look and the talk. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32(1), 99–112.Google Scholar
  2. Bodkin-Andrews, G., & Carlson, B. (2014). The legacy of racism and Indigenous Australian identity within education. Race Ethnicity and Education, 19(4), 784–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodkin-Andrews, G. H., Denson, N., & Bansel, P. (2013). Teacher racism, academic self-concept, and multiculturation: Investigating adaptive and maladaptive relations with academic disengagement and self-sabotage for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian students. Australian Psychologist, 48(3), 226–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bodkin-Andrews, G., O’Rourke, V., Grant, R., Denson, N., & Craven, R. G. (2010a). Validating racism and cultural respect: Testing the psychometric properties and educational impact of perceived discrimination and multiculturation for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Educational Research and Evaluation, 16(6), 471–493.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13803611.2010.550497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bodkin-Andrews, G. H., Seaton, M., Nelson, G. F., Craven, R. G., & Yeung, A. S. (2010b). Questioning the general self-esteem vaccine: General self-esteem, racial discrimination, and standardised achievement across Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 20(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coffin, J., Larson, A., & Cross, D. (2010). Bullying in an Aboriginal context. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 39, 77–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crawford, K. (2013). Constructing Aboriginal Australians, 1930–1960 projecting false memories. Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, 5(1), 90–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dandy, J., et al. (2015). Academic expectations of Australian students from Aboriginal, Asian and Anglo backgrounds: Perspectives of teachers, trainee-teachers and students. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62(1), 60–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Day, A. (1992). Aboriginal students succeeding in the senior high school years: A strengthening and changing Aboriginality challenges the negative stereotype. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 1(2), 14–26.Google Scholar
  10. Department of Employment, Education and Training. (1989). National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education policy: Joint policy statement. Canberra, Author. Retrieved from: http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/81579.
  11. Duncan, B. J. (1990). The integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary and secondary students within non-government boarding schools in Queensland. St Lucia, QLD: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies Unit, University of Queensland.Google Scholar
  12. Eckerman, A. (1999). Aboriginal education in rural Australia: A case study in frustration and hope. Australian Journal of Education, 43(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edwards-Groves, C. (2008). Enabling voice: Perceptions of schooling from rural Aboriginal youth at risk of entering the juvenile justice system. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 37, 165–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Foley, D. (2000). Aboriginality? The plight of the fair-skinned Indigenous Australian student in the secondary school system. Paper presented at the Aboriginal studies: Self-concept for a nation: Collected papers of the 10th annual ASA Conference., University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus, Milperra 12–14 July.Google Scholar
  15. Gool, S., & Patton, W. (1998). Voices still to be heard. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 26(1), 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graham, L. J. (2012). Disproportionate over-representation of Indigenous students in New South Wales government special schools. Cambridge journal of education, 42(2), 163–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Groome, H. (1990). What do Aboriginal parents think about schools? Kaurna Higher Education Journal, 1, 47–54.Google Scholar
  18. Hardy, I. (2016). ‘Capitalising’ on community? Understanding and critiquing instrumentalist approaches to Indigenous schooling. Oxford Review of Education, 42(6), 661–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Healy, S. (2015). Race, citizenship and national identity in The School Paper, 1946–1968. History of Education Review, 44(1), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Helme, S. (2005). Indigenous students and vocational education and training in schools: Ladder of opportunity or corrugated iron ceiling? Australian Journal of Education, 49(2), 169–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Herbert, J., Anderson, L., Price, D., & Stehbens, C. (1999). If they learn us right…: A study of the factors affecting the attendance, suspension and exclusion of Aboriginal students in secondary schools. Erskineville, NSW: Australian Centre for Equity through Education.Google Scholar
  22. Hewitson, R. (2007). Climbing the educational mountain: A metaphor for real culture change for Indigenous students in remote schools. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36(1), 6–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hickey, C. (2010). Racism at school. Independent Education, 40(3), 19–20.Google Scholar
  24. Kaplan, G., & Eckermann, A.-K. (1996). Identity and culture shock: Aboriginal children and schooling in Australia. McGill Journal of Education, 31(1), 7–24.Google Scholar
  25. Keddie, A. (2011). “Much more than a basic education”: Supporting self-determination and cultural integrity in a non-traditional school for Indigenous girls. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15(9), 1001–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keddie, A. (2013). Schooling for self-determination through a justice politics of Indigenous representation. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(1), 21–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keddie, A., Gowlett, C., Mills, M., Monk, S., & Renshaw, P. (2013). Beyond culturalism: Addressing issues of Indigenous disadvantage through schooling. Australian Educational Researcher, 40(1), 91–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Keddie, A., & Williams, N. (2012). Mobilising spaces of agency through genealogies of race and gender: Issues of indigeneity, marginality and schooling. Race Ethnicity and Education, 15(3), 291–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Khan, K. S., Kunz, R., Kleijnen, J., & Antes, G. (2003). Five steps to conducting a systematic review. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 96(3), 118–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Long, A. F., & Godfrey, M. (2004). An evaluation tool to assess the quality of qualitative research studies. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 7(2), 181–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Malin, M. (1990). The visibility and invisibility of Aboriginal students in an urban classroom. Australian Journal of Education, 34(3), 312–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mander, D. J., Cohen, J., & Pooley, J. A. (2015). A critical exploration of staff perceptions of Aboriginal boarding students’ experiences. Australian Journal of Education, 59(3), 312–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mansouri, F., & Jenkins, L. (2010). Schools as sites of race relations and intercultural tension. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(7), 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mansouri, F., Jenkins, L. M., Morgan, L., & Taouk, M. (2009). The impact of racism upon the health and wellbeing of young Australians. Retrieved from https://www.fya.org.au/app/theme/default/design/assets/publications/Impact_of_Racism_FYA_report.pdf.
  35. Mansouri, F., Jenkins, L., & Walsh, L. (2012). Racism and its impact on the health and wellbeing of Australian youth: Empirical and theoretical insights. Education and Society, 30(1), 75–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Martino, W. (2003). ‘We just get really fired up’: Indigenous boys, masculinities and schooling. Discourse, 24(2), 159–174.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0159630032000110711.Google Scholar
  37. Matthews, J., & Aberdeen, L. (2004). Racism, racialisation and settler colonialism. In A. Hickling-Hudson, J. Matthews, & A. Woods (Eds.), Disrupting preconceptions: Postcolonialism and education (pp. 193–209). Flaxton, Qld: Post Pressed.Google Scholar
  38. McGloin, C. (2014). Tone it down a bit!: Euphemism as a colonial device in Australian Indigenous Studies. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 36(2), 156–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Michaelson, M. T. (2006). A measure of the strength of the relationship between the Indigenity and desirability of Queensland state schools. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 35, 54–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mills, K. A. (2006). ‘Mr Travelling-at-will Ted Doyle’: Discourses in a multiliteracies classroom. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 29(2), 132–149.Google Scholar
  41. Mohajer, N., Bessarab, D., & Earnest, J. (2009). There should be more help out here! A qualitative study of the needs of Aboriginal adolescents in rural Australia. Rural and Remote Health, 9(2), 1137.Google Scholar
  42. Morgan, G. (2006). Memory and marginalisation: Aboriginality and education in the assimilation era. Australian Journal of Education, 50(1), 40–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nelson, A., & Hay, P. J. (2010). “I don’t want to grow up and not be smart”: Urban Indigenous young people’s perceptions of school. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 39, 54–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Paki, D. (2010). What do primary school principals from the Yamaji region or Mid West Education District say about their school’s bullying prevention and management guidelines and practices and how they support the strengths and needs of Aboriginal students and their families? Joondalup WA: Edith Cowan University.Google Scholar
  45. Partington, G., Godfrey, J., & Richer, K. (2001). ‘The principal is hopeless. She needs a good boot in the rear end’: Cultural diversity and conflicting school agendas. Paper presented at the AARE Annual Conference, Fremantle. Retrieved from http://www.aare.edu.au/data/publications/2001/par01107.pdf.
  46. Priest, N. C., Paradies, Y. C., Gunthorpe, W., Cairney, S. J., & Sayers, S. M. (2011). Racism as a determinant of social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal Australian youth. Medical Journal of Australia, 194(10), 546–550.Google Scholar
  47. Purdie, N., Oliver, R., Collard, G., & Rochecouste, J. (2002). Attitudes of primary school Australian Aboriginal children to their linguistic codes. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 21(4), 410–421.  https://doi.org/10.1177/026192702237957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rigney, D., Hughes, P., & Rigney, L.-I. (1998). Report on Aboriginal students and the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). Wayville, SA: Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia.Google Scholar
  49. Russell, D. (1999). The importance of identity in the retention and attainment of Aboriginal students at secondary school: Some research findings. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 27(1), 10–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sanderson, V., & Allard, A. (2003). ‘Research as dialogue’ and cross-cultural consultations: Confronting relations of power. Australian Educational Researcher, 30(1), 19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sarra, G. (2008). Cherbourg state school in historical context. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 37, 108–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Simpson, L., McFadden, M., & Munns, G. (2001). ‘Someone has to go through’: Indigenous boys, staying on at school and negotiating masculinities. In W. Martino & B. Meyenn (Eds.), What about the boys? Issues of masculinity in schools (pp. 154–168). Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: research and indigenous peoples (2nd ed). London ; New York: Zed Books : Distributed in the USA exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  54. Tarbetsky, A. L., Collie, R. J., & Martin, A. J. (2016). The role of implicit theories of intelligence and ability in predicting achievement for Indigenous (Aboriginal) Australian students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 47, 61–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Vass, G. (2014). The racialised educational landscape in Australia: Listening to the whispering elephant. Race Ethnicity and Education, 17(2), 176–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wall, K., & Baker, M. (2012). Race and education: Hidden links between media and Indigenous academic self-concept. Journal of Student Engagement: Education Matters, 2(1), 54–63.Google Scholar
  57. Welch, V., Petticrew, M., Tugwell, P., Moher, D., O’Neill, J., Waters, E., et al. (2012). PRISMA-equity 2012 extension: Reporting guidelines for systematic reviews with a focus on health equity. PLoS Med, 9(10), e1001333.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wilkinson, E. L. (2005). Audacious leadership: One school’s journey to achieve educational equality for Indigenous students. Townsville, QLD: James Cook University.Google Scholar
  59. Wooltorton, T. (1997). Nyungar education in a south west Australian location: A perspective. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 25(2), 37–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of ArtsThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist EducationUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  3. 3.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations