Building the future for remote indigenous students in Australia: An examination of future goals, motivation, learning and achievement in cultural context

Dennis Michael MCINERNEY

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Education is the corner stone of social justice because it is the basis of opportunity (Burney, 2003), but education as currently provided is failing Indigenous students in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. Ramsey (2003) estimated that 20 per cent of NT Indigenous students did not attend school, and, although those who were enrolled comprised 32 per cent of the NT secondary cohort, the number who achieved a Northern Territory Certificate of Education in 2000 amounted to only 6 per cent of the total school cohort. In 2009, ‘educational outcomes in the bush remain abysmal’ (Rothwell, 2009). Over half of the NT’s Indigenous students leave school without completing secondary education. Many of them are, therefore, condemned to a life in which their potential is unrealised, and the fortunes of their families severely circumscribed. Little is known of what motivates or should motivate these young people to achieve successful school outcomes. This paper reports on a research project, ‘Building the future for Indigenous students’, which asked 733 remote and very remote students what their hopes and dreams for the future were, what motivated them at school, and how they studied. Statistical analyses are used to establish the construct validity and reliability of psychological scales and to examine similarities and differences between very remote and remote Indigenous students, and a comparator group of 300 non-Indigenous students. The findings provide critical hard data on the relationship of Indigenous students’ future visions and aspirations, motivation, self-concept, self-regulation, language and culture to their school achievement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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achievement motivation
learning motivation
examination
student
school
education
construct validity
self-concept
self-regulation
secondary education
social justice
certification
research project
language

Citation

McInerney, D. M. (2010, September). Building the future for remote indigenous students in Australia: An examination of future goals, motivation, learning and achievement in cultural context. Paper presented at the International Conference on Educational Research (ICER) 2010: Learning Communities for Sustainable Development, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

Keywords

  • Motivation
  • Indigenous students
  • School achievement
  • Future goals