This week our blog comes from some University of Wollongong and AIME colleagues who are reflecting upon a five-year research partnership that has explored the success of this Indigenous Mentoring program at a national and international level.
The [AIME] program … was definitely something for me that kept me there [attending school]. That transition from Year 9 to Year 10 and then Year 10 was when I realised the potential of being actually able to go through to Year 11 and 12 and I could do well at school … go to University even though my family hadn’t done so. So I think overcoming that sense of that education wasn’t for Indigenous kids definitely changed during the AIME program.
(Graduate of the AIME program now studying at university)
The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) is an educational mentoring program that works to ensure Indigenous students complete school and transition to post-school pathways at the same rate as all Australians. In our work for the AIME Research Partnership, we have interviewed 143 high school students attending AIME and 13 people who attended AIME in high school and are now studying at university. We often hear these students comment on AIME’s role in supporting them to surpass educational levels of their family members, such as the opening comment .
So, what is AIME doing that is working so well in terms of inspiring and motivating students to continue to engage with education? Well, that’s what we’ve been researching over the past six years. Our new website lists all our major collaborators, findings and 21 publications (the site also provides many full-text links).
The site features work that refers to:
- Successful approaches to recognising and working with Indigenous high school students’ aspirations
- creating culturally safe learning environments on university campuses
- focusing on educational retention for Indigenous students.
The AIME Research Partnership has been going for years, but we’re nowhere near done – we still have much to learn from AIME’s success. We’re currently working on journal articles about ‘Shame’ and ‘No Shame’ in educational contexts and the AIME learning environment and, as AIME goes international … we’re looking forward to walking with AIME for many years to come.
The authors include:
Samantha McMahon is Research Fellow for the AIME Research Partnership, she explores how educators’ knowledge impacts the inequities of student experience.
Amy Priestly is the Research Director at AIME. Amy works with researchers from around the globe to build an evidence base for AIME’s work.