Preparing for a Longitudinal Study: Conceptualising the nature of data to be gathered

Year: 2004

Author: Partington, Gary

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Abstract:
The FTD program is designed by the Department of Education and Training to increase the opportunities for success of secondary Aboriginal students in Western Australian schools. Students are selected on their potential for success and provided support through mentoring, family support, extra-curricular programs and study assistance. Where possible, industry assistance is obtained to fund the additional resources needed for the program in the various schools where it is taking place.

The author is a member of a team of researchers conducting a longitudinal study of the program in a number of schools. The study, which is an ARC Linkage project with the Department of Education and Training in Western Australia, will examine the progress of the program and report to the Department of Education and Training and committees and coordinators on the efficacy of the program.

This paper attempts to build a framework within which the efforts and achievements of the students can be examined. Commencing with an analysis of the nature of the program and its processes that are designed to influence the students' progress through the high school, the paper explores the factors that may lead to competing motivations and values. Finally, a construction of the kinds of data that will be needed to explore the perceptions, experiences and outcomes of the students will be made.

The outcome of the paper is a model of the processes that impact on the students and the data that will provide the basis for sound analysis of the program as it affects the students.

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