Indigenous Students' Experiences of Higher Education: Rippling Stories of Success

Year: 2016

Author: Ober, Robyn, Olcay, Millie, Frawley, Jack, Smith, James

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Self-efficacy is a significant variable in student learning because it affects students’ motivation and learning (Bandura,1977). Self-efficacy is defined as beliefs about one’s own ability to be successful in the performance of a task and includes mastery experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion, and emotional arousal (Bandura 1977). The Rippling Stories of Success project addressed widening participation questions and issues by focusing on narrative accounts of Indigenous students’ successful transition into and completion of higher education studies. Through a self-efficacy analysis of students’ stories, the researchers generated and documented an evidence-base about the most efficient approaches for supporting Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education and successful completions of studies. In a recent report (Kinnane, Wilks, Hughes & Thomas, 2014, p.10) it was stated that “success exists on a spectrum defined by individual and collective terms, as well as a range of measures utilised by universities and government departments”. Recent scholarship has indicated that Indigenous higher education Ssuccess was viewed not so much as measured outcomes but more as a ‘ripple effect of many small successes’ (Kinnane, Wilks, Hughes & Thomas, 2014). Also, the report identified that successful transition into higher education through targeted pathway programmes critically depended upon supportive family and community relationships, dispelled myths and raised expectations. Throughout Australia, there have been many ‘small successes’ of Indigenous individuals who have completed higher education, but these stories are largely absent from the literature., The Rippling Stories of Success research team undertook an integrative literature review on self-efficacy and academic success with a particular focus on Indigenous higher education students; documented narrative accounts of Indigenous student successful transition and success in higher education studies by accessing youtube videos in which students presented their higher education experiences; developed a data analysis frame informed by the four sources of self-efficacy; and, through an analysis of these stories generated and documented an evidence-base about the most effective approaches for supporting Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education and successful completions. This presentation will present the research findings.REFERENCES:Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191.Kinnane, S., Wilks, J., Wilson, K., Hughes, T. & Thomas, S. (2014) ‘Can’t be what you can’t see’: the transition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into higher education: Final report 2014. Sydney: Office for Learning and Teaching.