Pathways to success: AIME’s educational mentoring model

lcj 17 coverAmy Priestley, Malcolm Lynch, Carly Wallace & Valerie Harwood

LCJ: Special Edition: Indigenous Pathways and Transitions into Higher Education, 17, pp. 44-53
http://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2015.17.04

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Priestley, A., Lynch, M., Wallace, C., & Harwood, V. (2015). Pathways to success: AIME’s educational mentoring model. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Indigenous Pathways and Transitions into Higher Education], 17, 44-53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2015.17.04.

 

Abstract

The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) is a structured educational mentoring program provided for Indigenous students to access throughout their high school experience. The program is designed to support students to complete high school and transition into university, further education and training or employment at the same rate as every Australian child, effectively closing the gap on educational outcomes.

To better understand the impact of the program, AIME has developed a research partnership with a team of researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW) and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Comprising researchers with experience in qualitative and quantitative approaches, this research has grown from a small UOW internally funded project, to a large national project. This collaborative research partnership has already spanned five years and has produced several theorised academic papers, based on both qualitative and quantitative research that describes the AIME program and its merits (Bodkin-Andrews et al. 2013; O’Shea et al. 2013; Kervin et al. 2014; O’Shea et al. 2014; Harwood et al. 2015). Findings from the research to date have reported the success of the AIME program in engaging Indigenous young people in education (Bodkin-Andrews et al. 2013) as well as described the novel ways that the AIME program reorients the focus on aspirations to one of ‘recognition of aspirations’ (Harwood et al. 2014). Further analysis continues to be conducted, including the outcomes of an AIME national survey in 2014 and a paper currently under review that explains the different pedagogy used in the AIME program (McMahon et al, under review).  All research activities through this partnership are aligned with protocols for research with Indigenous Australians, as described by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. We work collaboratively to discuss, plan and develop research projects and we have adapted data analyses approaches so we can engage in-group analysis so that a range of perspectives and epistemologies are able to be applied the collected data.

 

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