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Full-Text Articles in Education

Professional Self-Care Practices, Emotional Work And Burnout In Australian Psychology Academics, Claudia Yael Hoenig Jan 2020

Professional Self-Care Practices, Emotional Work And Burnout In Australian Psychology Academics, Claudia Yael Hoenig

Theses : Honours

This study examined whether professional self-care practices (PSCP) had a moderating effect on the relationship between emotional work (EW) performed and burnout symptoms experienced among Australian academics teaching psychology. Seventy-seven Australian psychology academics ranging from 27 to 64 years, with an average of 13.34 years of academic experience, and representing the full range of academic levels from Associate Lecturer to Professor, and predominantly females, participated in the study. Participants completed an online survey comprising three questionnaires: the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Intensive Emotion Work Inventory (IEW) and Professional Self-Care Scale (PSCS), addressing levels of PSCP, EW performed and frequency ...


Short-Term International Experiences In Language Teacher Education: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis, Emrullah Yasin Çiftçi, A. Cendel Karaman Jan 2019

Short-Term International Experiences In Language Teacher Education: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis, Emrullah Yasin Çiftçi, A. Cendel Karaman

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Short-term international experiential learning opportunities can foster language teachers' multidimensional development. Even though such experiences are considered beneficial for language teachers’ development, educational reviews have scarcely concentrated on a comprehensive synthesis of the impact of such experiences on language teachers. This meta-synthesis of qualitative research analyzed the role of international experiential learning in the multidimensional development of pre- and in-service language teachers. Besides presenting a number of research patterns in the literature, this synthesis of 25 qualitative studies reported main outcomes of short-term international experiences for language teachers. These outcomes were synthesized under three main headings: (1) professional, (2) linguistic ...


Anecdotes, Experience, And ‘Learning By Osmosis’: The Role Of Professional Cultures In Preparing Teachers For Parent-School Engagement, Sue Saltmarsh, Amy K. Mcpherson, Sayan Chakrabarty, Stephen Winn, David Saltmarsh Jan 2019

Anecdotes, Experience, And ‘Learning By Osmosis’: The Role Of Professional Cultures In Preparing Teachers For Parent-School Engagement, Sue Saltmarsh, Amy K. Mcpherson, Sayan Chakrabarty, Stephen Winn, David Saltmarsh

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Initial teacher education and experiences of the professional cultures of teaching contribute to teachers’ understandings about how to engage with parents. Drawing on qualitative research data, and informed by Michel de Certeau’s theory of culture and everyday life, this paper explores how everyday beliefs and professional practices that shape relationships between teachers and parents can remain relatively stable despite changing expectations of policy-makers and communities. The paper argues that equipping pre-service, beginning and experienced teachers and school leaders with research-based understandings about these cultural dynamics is crucial to informing professional practices that support meaningful and effective parent-school engagement.



How Do Librarians In Schools Support Struggling Readers?, Margaret Kristin Merga Jan 2019

How Do Librarians In Schools Support Struggling Readers?, Margaret Kristin Merga

ECU Publications Post 2013

While librarians in schools often face significant budgetary cuts, they can play an important role in supporting learning in literacy and literature. However, little is known about the practices that they may employ to this end. Of particular interest is the role of librarians in schools in supporting struggling readers, as these students may be increasingly disadvantaged as they move through the years of schooling. Semi-structured interview data were collected from teacher librarians at 30 schools and analysed to identify practices exercised by teacher librarians that aligned with extant research around supporting struggling readers. Teacher librarians provided support by identifying ...


A Public Health Perspective Of The Higher Education Experiences Of Women Studying Nursing: A Hermeneutic Inquiry Into Commencement And Progression, Lesley Jane Andrew Jan 2019

A Public Health Perspective Of The Higher Education Experiences Of Women Studying Nursing: A Hermeneutic Inquiry Into Commencement And Progression, Lesley Jane Andrew

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

While student retention is a central goal across higher education, the projected shortage in the Australian health workforce has intensified its importance to undergraduate nursing.

Nursing degrees attract a higher proportion of mature-age women students than ever before. More are therefore beginning university at life stage characterised by marriage (or co-habitation) and traditional family structures. Nursing retention strategies require an understanding of the unique university experiences of these women, however, this is missing in the nursing literature. This study is the first to explore the experiences of these women students, doing so from the perspective of Bachelor of Science (Nursing ...


The Development Of Social–Emotional Skills In Pre-Primary Children: A Comparison Of Parent, Teacher And Combined Coaching Programs, Nichola Lucia Webb Jan 2019

The Development Of Social–Emotional Skills In Pre-Primary Children: A Comparison Of Parent, Teacher And Combined Coaching Programs, Nichola Lucia Webb

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

The development of social–emotional skills is pivotal in generating positive outcomes for mental health and wellbeing throughout the childhood period and into later life (Hertzman, 2004; Moore, 2006; Sosna & Mastergeorge, 2005). While research has explored the effects of parent and teacher influences on young children’s social–emotional skills, most studies have either focussed on high-risk child populations, compared single influences with each other (e.g., parent versus teacher) or compared one combined group of influences with a control group. Few studies have directly compared the separate effects of parent, teacher and peer components to assess which are more ...


Maximising The Contributions Of Phd Graduates To National Development: The Case Of The Seychelles, Marina Fatima Confait Jan 2018

Maximising The Contributions Of Phd Graduates To National Development: The Case Of The Seychelles, Marina Fatima Confait

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is the pinnacle of educational attainment and the most respected of the doctoral programs. The degree certifies the holder as an independent researcher, an expert with extensive knowledge about the chosen field of study, and a professional with a wide range of transferable skills . As such, PhD graduates have the capability to make important contributions to knowledge and drive change in society. Furthermore, PhD graduates represent accumulated human capital, a valuable human resource with potential for making significant contributions to a country’s development. This can materialise through enhancing the knowledge of others, performing ...


Chinese Nursing Students At Australian Universities: A Narrative Inquiry Into Their Motivation, Learning Experience, And Future Career Planning, Carol Chungfeng Wang Jan 2017

Chinese Nursing Students At Australian Universities: A Narrative Inquiry Into Their Motivation, Learning Experience, And Future Career Planning, Carol Chungfeng Wang

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

This study presents a narrative inquiry of Chinese nursing students at Australian universities in order to examine these students’ motivations, learning experiences and future career planning. Australia seeks to attract international nursing students from China to maintain its economic advantage and alleviate its projected nursing shortage. In contrast, China desperately needs its best and brightest citizens who have trained abroad as nurses to return to China in order to cope with its current challenges in the healthcare system and nursing education. Little is known about the underlying factors that motivate Chinese nursing students to study in Australia, these students’ learning ...


Investigating The Relationships Between Education And Culture For Female Students In Tertiary Settings In The Uae, Beverley Mcclusky Jan 2017

Investigating The Relationships Between Education And Culture For Female Students In Tertiary Settings In The Uae, Beverley Mcclusky

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

This research is about the higher education of Indigenous Emirati women and how they balance the intricate demands of higher education with the social customs of a traditional society and the expectations placed on women. The study sought to identify and comprehend the issues which have affected the educational changes that are taking place, including culture, gender, religion, the influence of Western education processes, and the desire of an Indigenous population to raise their educational practices to an internationally recognised benchmark.

The research was aimed at providing insights into the distinctiveness of this group of women from their social and ...


Employer Understanding Of Work-Integrated Learning And The Challenges Of Engaging In Work Placement Opportunities, Denise Jackson, David Rowbottom, Sonia Ferns, Diane Mclaren Jan 2017

Employer Understanding Of Work-Integrated Learning And The Challenges Of Engaging In Work Placement Opportunities, Denise Jackson, David Rowbottom, Sonia Ferns, Diane Mclaren

ECU Publications Post 2013

This study examines employer understanding of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), reasons for participation and the challenges and barriers posed during the WIL process. This is important given the drive to grow WIL, augmented by the National Strategy for WIL, and the significant benefits it holds in preparing students for their transition to employment. The study was undertaken by the four publicly funded Western Australian universities, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, and is focused on work placements among business students. Findings indicate employers had very little understanding of WIL offerings at the four Business Schools ...


Participant Perspectives And Critical Reflections On Language Teacher Education By Distance, John S. Knox Jan 2017

Participant Perspectives And Critical Reflections On Language Teacher Education By Distance, John S. Knox

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Language teaching is a profession which is international in character. Language teachers often work and study in foreign countries, and distance education has become very important in the education of language teachers. Drawing on two international surveys, this paper explores language teacher education by distance from the perspective of students (i.e. trainee or practicing language teachers) and teacher-educators in such distance programs. There are significant educational advantages for language teachers who choose to study by distance, and e-learning technologies have enhanced these benefits. This paper also includes an in-depth analysis of the qualitative survey responses from two individual students ...


The Elephant In The (Class)Room: Parental Perceptions Of Lgbtq-Inclusivity In K-12 Educational Contexts, Jacqueline Ullman, Tania Ferfolja Jan 2016

The Elephant In The (Class)Room: Parental Perceptions Of Lgbtq-Inclusivity In K-12 Educational Contexts, Jacqueline Ullman, Tania Ferfolja

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

While little is known about parental beliefs and desires regarding LGBTQ-inclusive education, assumptions about these appear to justify teachers’, curriculum writers’ and policy makers’ silences regarding sexuality and gender diversity in the K-12 classroom. Thus, in order to better inform educators’ practices, this paper presents an analysis of interview data from focus groups with parents from across the Australian state of New South Wales. Findings highlight parents’ desires for LGBTQ-inclusivity, not only as a protective factor for sexuality and gender diverse students, but also to engender social cohesion and prepare all students for adult life in the modern social landscape ...


The Washback Of The Toefl Ibt In Vietnam, Melissa Barnes Jan 2016

The Washback Of The Toefl Ibt In Vietnam, Melissa Barnes

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Washback, or the influence of testing on teaching and learning, has received considerable attention in language testing research over the past twenty years. It is widely argued that testing, particularly high-stakes testing, exerts a powerful influence, whether intended or unintended, positive or negative, on both teachers and learners. This article investigates the washback effects of a high-stakes English language proficiency test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT), in Vietnam. Vietnam, a developing country whose educational philosophies differ from those underpinning the TOEFL iBT, provided a unique context to explore the test's washback. In ...


Investigating Coherence Among Turkish Elementary Science Teachers’ Teaching Belief Systems, Pedagogical Content Knowledge And Practice, Eralp Bahcivan, William W. Cobern Jan 2016

Investigating Coherence Among Turkish Elementary Science Teachers’ Teaching Belief Systems, Pedagogical Content Knowledge And Practice, Eralp Bahcivan, William W. Cobern

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

This study investigated comprehensive science teaching belief systems and their relation to science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and teaching practices. Rokeach’s (1968) belief system was used as a framework for representing the hierarchy among in-service teachers’ teaching beliefs. This study employed a multiple case study design with three in-service science teachers. Cases were selected based on participant’s personal epistemology. Data were collected through interviews and classroom observations. Content analyses showed that when science teachers presented characteristics of autonomous self-construal more than related self-construal, they had a more advanced personal epistemology. In addition, these beliefs shaped participants’ conceptions of ...


Community Building, Multiculturalism And The Suburban Public Library: Community, Cohesion And Sustainability. Qualitative Data From Interviews On Western Australian Migrants' Information Needs & Quantitative Web Survey Data On Service Provision At Australian Public Libraries, 2011-2012, Rajeswari Chelliah Jan 2016

Community Building, Multiculturalism And The Suburban Public Library: Community, Cohesion And Sustainability. Qualitative Data From Interviews On Western Australian Migrants' Information Needs & Quantitative Web Survey Data On Service Provision At Australian Public Libraries, 2011-2012, Rajeswari Chelliah

Research Datasets

This dataset consists of 3 files:

File 1: Qualitative data enclosed in Microsoft Excel file. Data collection includes one to one interviews with Western Australian migrants.

Content analysis: interview utterances were analysed for content, classified into categories, and coded and entered in Microsoft Excel file columns.

File 2: Qualitative data enclosed in Microsoft Word file. Data collection includes one to one interviews with Western Australian migrants.

Content analysis: interview utterances were analysed for content, classified into categories, and coded and entered in Microsoft Word file columns.

File 3: Quantitative data enclosed in Qualtrics software which includes public librarians’ responses to ...


Creating Shared Norms In Schools - A Theoretical Approach, Maryanne Macdonald, Eyal Gringart, Jan Gray Jan 2016

Creating Shared Norms In Schools - A Theoretical Approach, Maryanne Macdonald, Eyal Gringart, Jan Gray

ECU Publications Post 2013

Whilst some improvements to Indigenous education outcomes have occurred in recent years, there remains considerable inequity in the educational experiences and long-term engagement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. One of the factors contributing to the challenging environment for Indigenous students is dissonance of social norms, as a result of ethnic and socioeconomic differences between teacher and student. Many hegemonic culture teachers are unaware of Standpoint Theory and the way in which normative beliefs impact on classroom interactions and student outcomes at the cultural interface. This paper draws on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TBP) to illustrate ways in which schools ...


Paramedicine And Social Work: Case Studies In Authentic Student Recruitment, Nathalie Collins, Lynelle Watts, Renee Strauss, David Hodgson Jul 2015

Paramedicine And Social Work: Case Studies In Authentic Student Recruitment, Nathalie Collins, Lynelle Watts, Renee Strauss, David Hodgson

eCULTURE

Selling the course experience to future students has been corporatised across the Higher Education sector. At many universities marketing and sales specialists, such as ECU’s Student Recruitment Team, rather than academic staff, field prospective student enquiries. Representing courses authentically is crucial to matching future students with an appropriate course experience and career, as well is managing future students’ expectations. A challenge for academics is communicating the course/career experience to university sales agents (recruiters). A challenge for recruiters is conveying an authentic course experience to future students when they have not taken a course themselves. This paper selects two ...


Student Teachers’ Cognition About L2 Pronunciation Instruction: A Case Study, Michael Burri Jan 2015

Student Teachers’ Cognition About L2 Pronunciation Instruction: A Case Study, Michael Burri

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

In view of the minimal attention pronunciation teacher preparation has received in second language (L2) teacher education, this study examined the cognition (i.e. beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and knowledge) development of 15 student teachers during a postgraduate subject on pronunciation pedagogy offered at an Australian tertiary institution. Findings revealed that, as a result of taking the subject, student teachers’ cognition shifted from teaching individual sounds (i.e. segmentals) to favouring a more balanced approach to pronunciation instruction. That is, teaching the melody of the English language (i.e. suprasegmentals) was seen as important as teaching segmentals. Non-native speakers’ self-perceived pronunciation ...


Volunteering Within Initial Teacher Education: Factors That Boost And Block Participation, Daniella J. Forster, Jennifer Archer, Rukhsana T. Tajin Jan 2015

Volunteering Within Initial Teacher Education: Factors That Boost And Block Participation, Daniella J. Forster, Jennifer Archer, Rukhsana T. Tajin

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Voluntary professional experience can be a powerful way for initial teacher education (ITE) students to develop an understanding of schools and their communities. Do ITE students make use of these opportunities? There is little Australian research that explores genuine volunteering that does not “require” students to engage with the community. We conducted an on-line survey with 141 ITE students who were eligible to participate in a volunteer program. What factors reduced volunteering and what factors enhanced it? The results showed that, while students value volunteering and can point to benefits that come from it, most are unable or unwilling to ...


Red Dirt Writing: Journalism, Foucault And The Transformation Of Onslow, Karma Louise Barndon Jan 2015

Red Dirt Writing: Journalism, Foucault And The Transformation Of Onslow, Karma Louise Barndon

Theses : Honours

The remote town of Onslow in the Pilbara region of WA plays host to two massive liquefied natural gas plants that will contribute billions to the state and national economy over the next 50 years. Recognising the importance of creating a first draft of history, the Tracking Onslow project was launched in 2012 by ECU and the Shire of Ashburton, to use journalism as a research methodology to document physical changes in the town and changing community perceptions about the gas plants and the companies that run them. The project produced six magazines over a three-year period. This practice-led thesis ...


The Role Of Awareness Of Repetition During The Development Of Automaticity, Emma Shadbolt Jan 2015

The Role Of Awareness Of Repetition During The Development Of Automaticity, Emma Shadbolt

Theses : Honours

Investigation into the influence of contextual information on performance of an automatic task has found inconsistent results. The majority of studies have investigated whether changing the context of a simple cognitive task can inhibit an automatic response, but do not review whether context can help the development of automatic responding. The current study examined whether bringing awareness to the context of a simple numerosity task could aid the development of automaticity. It also examined whether participants were aware of when automaticity developed for them via a post-test interview. The numerosity task used in this study was a simple counting task ...


Personality, Resilience, Self-Regulation And Cognitive Ability Relevant To Teacher Selection, Eleanor Sautelle, Terry Bowles, John Hattie, Daniel N. Arifin Jan 2015

Personality, Resilience, Self-Regulation And Cognitive Ability Relevant To Teacher Selection, Eleanor Sautelle, Terry Bowles, John Hattie, Daniel N. Arifin

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

The current study uses social judgment theory to inform the design of processes to be used in selecting teachers for training programs. Developing a comprehensive selection process to identify individuals who are likely to succeed as teachers is a mechanism for improving teacher quality and raising the profile of the profession. The design of such a process requires the identification of qualities of effective teaching that can be assessed at selection, and their relative importance. Six psychological constructs are identified from previous literature that are likely to differentiate between teaching candidates – Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Resilience, Self-Regulation and Cognitive Ability. 90 ...


Ethical Research In Indigenous Contexts And The Practical Implementation Of It, Graeme Gower Jan 2015

Ethical Research In Indigenous Contexts And The Practical Implementation Of It, Graeme Gower

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

Research in Indigenous Australia has historically been controlled and dominated by non-Indigenous researchers. However, recent national research guidelines which have been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and together with a number of other research guidelines that have been developed by other institutions, including the Australian Institute for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), have signalled a shift towards Indigenous ownership and control over research. However, despite these revised guidelines, researching in Indigenous contexts can still result in cultural insensitivities, neglect or disregard by researchers and mistrust by Indigenous participants. Similar issues have also been expressed ...


Thinking Differently About Reflective Practice In Australian Social Work Education: A Rhapsody, Lynelle Watts Jan 2015

Thinking Differently About Reflective Practice In Australian Social Work Education: A Rhapsody, Lynelle Watts

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

There are many different ways of thinking about reflective practice in social work education in Australia. This research utilises a musical metaphor to illustrate this diversity. Written as a piece of music with album notes, the study utilises a reflexive methodology with a qualitative mixed method approach. Three studies were conducted to explore how reflective practice is understood in social work education and practice in Australia. The first study examined my own learning and teaching of reflective practice through an autoethnographic process. The findings indicated a range of models of reflective practice potentially available to the educator. Also explored in ...


The Requirement To Be Fit And Proper: What Does It Mean To Australian Psychologists?, Francesca A. Bell Jan 2015

The Requirement To Be Fit And Proper: What Does It Mean To Australian Psychologists?, Francesca A. Bell

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

The phrase fit and proper is used in the Health Practitioners Regulation National Law Act (Qld), 2009, which came into effect nationally in 2010 and governs psychologists. As with previous legislation that used the phrase, the legislator does not define fit and proper, leaving it up to each profession to determine its exact meaning and inform the courts accordingly. A review of the literature established that to date no Australian psychologist has attempted to define the construct. This means that Australian lawyers do not get any guidance from psychologists regarding how they should interpret the phrase fit and proper in ...


Collaborative Teaching And Self-Study: Engaging Student Teachers In Sociological Theory In Teacher Education., Vivienne Hogan, Linda Daniell Jan 2015

Collaborative Teaching And Self-Study: Engaging Student Teachers In Sociological Theory In Teacher Education., Vivienne Hogan, Linda Daniell

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

This article presents some of the findings of a three-year project researching the impact of changes made to teaching and learning in a first-year sociology paper for primary and early childhood education (ece) student teachers. The context of the research is an undergraduate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme situated in the School of Education in a New Zealand University. Through self-study, teacher educators sought to gain a deeper understanding of how changes made to the paper influenced their teaching and student learning.

A collaborative teaching relationship was particularly important for the teacher educators to share concerns and present ideas for ...


Should Educators Be ‘Wrapping School Playgrounds In Cotton Wool’ To Encourage Physical Activity? Exploring Primary And Secondary Students’ Voices From The School Playground, Brendon P. Hyndman, Amanda Telford Jan 2015

Should Educators Be ‘Wrapping School Playgrounds In Cotton Wool’ To Encourage Physical Activity? Exploring Primary And Secondary Students’ Voices From The School Playground, Brendon P. Hyndman, Amanda Telford

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Physical activity in school playgrounds has changed considerably over recent decades to reflect a climate of ‘surplus safety’. A growing culture of surplus safety can be attributed to a desire of parents and teachers responsible for children to protect school students from danger. The aim of this research was to examine students’ perceptions of playground safety influences on physical activity during school breaks from the perspectives of the ‘users’ of school playgrounds. Data collection consisted of seven focus groups (4 primary school & 3 secondary school) conducted across four schools (2 primary & 2 secondary). During this study, the focus group discussions consisted of 54 children (32 primary & 22 secondary; 50% females; 50% males). Social-Ecological Model levels of school playground safety influence identified by both primary and secondary ...


Leaving Home: Investigating Transitioning Challenges Faced By Boarding Students And Their Families, Kate Margaret Hadwen Jan 2015

Leaving Home: Investigating Transitioning Challenges Faced By Boarding Students And Their Families, Kate Margaret Hadwen

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

Transitioning to boarding school during the middle years of childhood impacts upon the social, emotional and academic wellbeing of young people (Bramston & Patrick, 2007; Connell & Wellborn, 1991; Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, & Ryan, 1991; Earls & Carlson, 2001). Students who live at school as boarders, may experience greater transitional changes in all three components of wellbeing due to the extent of change experienced during this transition. While research addressing transitioning to school has indicated the importance of connectedness to school, bonding, friendships and a sense of autonomy (Eccles et al., 1993), there is limited research addressing the transitioning experiences of boarding students and their families.

This mixed methodology study sought to understand how boarding students experience transitioning into boarding school, its possible association with connectedness to the boarding house, reported levels of staff support, loneliness, homesickness and help-seeking for homesickness. Focus groups and interviews were used to better understand how parents experience the transitioning of their children into boarding school.

This thesis used data collected from a Healthway funded Starter Grant. The research was cross-sectional by design involving a purposeful sample of 267 students, 59% male and 41% female, aged 12 - 15 years, who lived in one of eight metropolitan and regional boarding settings in Western Australia (WA) in 2011, and 37 of their parents. Data for this project were collected from October, 2010 to September, 2011

The first research question used qualitative data to explore the experiences of boarding parents. Findings suggested parents appeared to be more affected by their children leaving home than did the majority of boarding students. The following strategies were suggested as helpful to support positive transitions: preparing both parents and their children effectively for the move; making contact with other boarding parents at least six months prior to the transition; having meaningful connections with the staff caring for their children communicating and visiting their children regularly; co-developing with their children communication and visiting plans; and, keeping busy.

Research questions two to five analysed quantitative data collected through a student survey. The following transitioning activities were found to be either very helpful and / or associated with other benefits (as listed ...


Motherhood First: An Interpretive Description Of The Experience Of Mature Age Female Students With Dependent Children At One Regional University Campus In Australia, Amanda Draper Jan 2015

Motherhood First: An Interpretive Description Of The Experience Of Mature Age Female Students With Dependent Children At One Regional University Campus In Australia, Amanda Draper

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

This study explored the experience of mature age female students with dependent children at one regional university campus in Western Australia, Edith Cowan University South West (ECUSW). These students are one of many student groups whose experience differs to that of more traditional students such as young, unmarried, and well-supported school-leaver students. Although all students enter university with experiences that make them valuable to the university institution, mature age female students with dependent children enter university with unique knowledge, experiences and attitudes making them potentially valuable contributors to their own and others’ learning (Martins & Anthony, 2007). Whilst at university, these students often face unique challenges in balancing their time and energy between their multiple roles (White, 2008).

The timing of this study was important in response to the Bradley Report (Bradley, 2008) which was released in 2008, which stemmed from a review of Higher Education in Australia. This report recommended national targets of at least 40% of 25 to 34 year olds are to have a bachelor level qualification or higher by 2020 (Bradley, 2008). The Bradley report also recommended an increase in enrolments of non-traditional students, including those with a low socio-economic status (SES) and those residing in regional areas. Research focusing on these students is essential as the actual experience of these non-traditional students, mature age female students with dependent children, and their specific needs is significantly under-researched. Thus, the purpose of this study was to add to the existing and emerging body of knowledge related to the population of interest to inform, guide and improve decisions relating to future Australian mature age female university students with dependent children.

The methodology guiding this study was Interpretive Description, a second-generation qualitative methodology whose ancestry lies in phenomenology, ethnography and grounded theory. The purpose of this methodology, which was developed by Thorne, Reimer-Kirkham and MacDonald-Emes (1997), is to guide the researcher in the exploration of the experiences of multiple participants in a particular social setting, such as attending university. The methodology facilitates the creation of a conceptual description capturing the themes and patterns conveyed by the participants (Thorne, 2008).

Data were collected from 32 participants who were involved in this study, with 21 participating in individual interviews and 11 participating in one of three mini-focus groups. Each of these 32 participants also completed the same 20-question demographic questionnaire. These methods supported the analysis of the participants’ experience, resulting in a multi-layered conceptual description. The foundational layer of the conceptual description illustrates two complex and interrelated themes of expectations and management. The expectations theme included three aspects; students’ academic expectations, expectations of the ...


A Healthy Dose Of Race? White Students’ And Teachers’ Unintentional Brushes With Whiteness, Samantha Schulz, Jennifer Fane Jan 2015

A Healthy Dose Of Race? White Students’ And Teachers’ Unintentional Brushes With Whiteness, Samantha Schulz, Jennifer Fane

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

This paper reports on efforts by three Australian academics to develop students’ sociocultural awareness (in particular, their racial literacy) during a time of mounting pressure on teacher educators to narrow and standardise their approaches. The field of health education provides a vehicle for research; however, it is not the paper’s central foci. Of key concern is the development of a critical disposition in students – a disposition geared toward teaching for social equity. Learning of this nature transcends topic domains, and therefore allows for collaboration between academics in different parts of teacher education. Specifically, the paper focuses upon ‘whiteness’ and ...