The impact of racism on the schooling experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students: A systematic review
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.
KeywordsRace Racism Discrimination Prejudice Indigenous Education
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Groome, H. (1990). What do Aboriginal parents think about schools? Kaurna Higher Education Journal, 1, 47–54.Google Scholar
- 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
- Hickey, C. (2010). Racism at school. Independent Education, 40(3), 19–20.Google Scholar
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Wilkinson, E. L. (2005). Audacious leadership: One school’s journey to achieve educational equality for Indigenous students. Townsville, QLD: James Cook University.Google Scholar