Institute for Positive Psychology & Education

Explicating the Drivers of Success: Schools that Improve Indigenous Students' Learning Outcomes

Achieving good educational outcomes for Indigenous students is vital if Australia’s future prosperity is to be freed from systemic disadvantage. While successful learning experiences are largely driven by principals, teachers, curriculum, and policy, there are other factors (eg school ethos, community engagement, psychosocial well-being, and physical environment) that contribute to students’ success, and extend beyond academic outcomes to active citizenship, life-long learning, and creative community participation.

By adopting a positive psychology framework that incorporates Indigenous worldviews and using a mixed-methods study, we seek to identify the characteristics of schools and related factors which are effectively helping Indigenous students achieve their potential, which has flow-on effects for families and communities.

In the longer term, on the basis of excellence and equity issues, addressing Indigenous disadvantage, cultivating Indigenous talent, and promoting Indigenous leadership will lift Australia’s economic productivity and growth and add materially to strengthening the socio-economic fabric of Australia.

Researchers: Dr Anthony Dillon, Professor Phil Riley, Professor Bob Vallerand
Start Date: 1 January 2016
End Date: 31 December 2018
Funding Body: Australian Research Council

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