Aboriginal students and career aspirations.

Year: 2001

Author: Lowe, Kevin

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The aim of the Aboriginal Career Aspirations Program (ACAP) in NSW has been to provide tools to assist schools in trying to address the critical issues of Aboriginal student attendance and retention. The project has used the vehicles of career education and Aboriginal perspective's in two contexts to facilitate these objectives. The project aims to engage Aboriginal students in the education process by making school more interesting and relevant to them. It is hoped that by developing in Aboriginal students an awareness of careers, pathways and the role of education and training in relation to employment later in life, that there will be an increase in their attendance and retention through toYear 12. The project encourages in various contexts the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives. This entails not only integration of Aboriginal historical perspective's and culture but a contemporary picture as well. In line with the NSW Department of Education and Training's Aboriginal Education Policy. Central to the project is the notion of "aspirations". It is hoped that the materials provide programs and learning experiences for indigenous students that relate to their own personal aspirations. This may include the development of existing aspirations or it may mean the development of new aspirations that students had not considered previously. The development of aspirations within students is central to the program and is seen as a positive vehicle in which to build knowledge, self-esteem and identity. Furthermore, an aspect of this research that requires further investigation is the question of parent and community aspirations and the impact that this has on the aspirations of students.