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Two steps forward, one step back.
Inside Teaching (2010)
  • Sue Thomson, ACER
  • Lisa De Bortoli, ACER
The academic achievement of Australia's Indigenous students is hindered by ongoing disadvantage. A recent study looking into the contextual factors that influence the achievements of Indigenous students draws on three cycles of data from the Programme for International Student Assessment. It describes the affective behaviours and background factors that influence Indigenous student achievement. It looks the differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in relation to home and educational background; student attitudes, engagement, motivation and beliefs; students' learning strategies and preferences; and learning environments, both school and classroom. HOme and family matters put the low achievement of Indigenous students into context. Generally, Indigenous people have poorer socioeconomic outcomes than the non-Indigenous population. This inequality is reflected in lower than average levels of household income and high levels of house overcrowding and homelessness. Indigenous people have less access to resources they need for study and and are more likely to have parents with lower levels of educational experience. In national test in the early years of primary schools, Indigenous students consistently achieve at lower levels than their peers, and as schooling continues the gaps gradually widen. Lower achievement and interruptions to school attendance lead to lower levels of self confidence and self efficacy, which in turn hold back Indigenous students from academic achievement.
  • Indigenous,
  • PISA,
  • Aboriginal students,
  • Academic achievement,
  • Educational environment,
  • Family characteristics,
  • Learning strategies,
  • Student attitudes,
  • Student beliefs,
  • Student characteristics,
  • Student engagement
Publication Date
Citation Information
Sue Thomson and Lisa De Bortoli. "Two steps forward, one step back." Inside Teaching Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2010) p. 36 - 39
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