"Because I stayed": Australian Indigenous secondary school students who remain at high school

Year: 2003

Author: Munns, Geoff, Parente, Adrian

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper is based on the recognition that there is much to learn about the successful paths that some Indigenous students are negotiating through school and into further studies and the workplace. It reports into qualitative research with a number of Indigenous students in both urban and rural settings. The students, in the post-compulsory years of secondary school, were identified by their schools as likely to complete their schooling. In taking up a focus on those remaining at school, the paper offers a different perspective from the large body of research into resistant and disengaged Indigenous students (see, for example Malin, 1990, Keefe, 1993, Munns, 1996, Munns & McFadden, 2000). While this previous research has told us much about the reasons leading to Indigenous students leaving school, it has offered few insights into why some remain at school and try to win the educational battle that has defeated many in their communities. This paper takes up the challenge of listening to and learning from a particular group of successful students and so bringing forward important insights into how more students from Indigenous backgrounds might become engaged with school and education.