Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
Research partners Kathryn McGuigan (left) and Dr Lisa Papatraianou
Research partners Kathryn McGuigan (left) and Dr Lisa Papatraianou

Researchers explore lives of diverse students

By Patrick Nelson

A desire to better understand how young people from different backgrounds manage the tensions between school and home has sparked a new research project for CDU’s Adelaide-based education lecturer.

Senior Lecturer in Education Dr Lisa Papatraianou said the project would explore the challenges that Indigenous, international and refugee students experienced when negotiating various home and school cultures and how they overcame them.

“It is an exploration into how young people manage transition and how they maintain their resilience when faced with the need to navigate often opposing cultures,” Dr Papatraianou said.

“The research will challenge traditional white middle-class concepts of success, aspiration and resilience, which offer little help in understanding the lives of diverse students.”

Dr Papatraianou and Central Australian colleague Dr Al Strangeways will work with staff at Mary MacKillop College Kensington including Principal Kathryn McGuigan, to better understand the lives and experiences of the culturally diverse students within the school.

“The aim is to improve student learning outcomes, enhance participation in schooling activities and develop stronger connections between school, family and community,” Dr Papatraianou said.

“It will also enhance teachers’ professional knowledge in a way that is evidence-based and relevant to their school context.”

She said the research proposal had won the Australian Teacher Education Association Education Partnership award and grant that aimed to recognise and support university-school research partnerships in education.