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The post-schooling transitions of remote Indigenous secondary school graduates
journal contributionposted on 04.09.2019, 00:00 by Katrina Rutherford, Janya Mccalman, Roxanne Bainbridge
School completion has been hailed by many as the ‘holy grail’ of Indigenous education, and 42% remote-living Indigenous students now attain year 12 completion each year. But for a range of complex reasons, only 60% of these graduates translate this achievement into further engagement in study, training or employment. This systematic literature review examined the evidence for strategies that support the post-schooling transitions of these students. Adhering to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework, it examined the scope and quality of the existing evidence and applied qualitative meta-synthesis to elucidate the conditions that enable or hinder, and strategies that support post-schooling transitions. Findings suggested that lower rates of post-schooling study or employment uptake are influenced by: historical misalignment of education approaches with community values and aspirations; limited opportunities in remote communities; and other socio-economic factors. Strategies were found to be most effective when cross-sectoral education/employment and community partnerships were formed, and remote communities were integral in the planning and implementation process. Strategies to improve transitions included: embedding Indigenous and Western knowledge systems in education, task-based learning, explicitly addressing students’ language needs, providing immersion experiences such as in universities, and mentoring programs to widen students’ aspirations. However, the evidence-base remains weak and further research is needed to understand the impact of strategies on students’ aspirations and their immediate and long-term post-schooling transitions.