Strengthening the capacity of education staff to support the wellbeing of Indigenous students in boarding schools: a participatory action research study

Heyeres, Marion, McCalman, Janya, Langham, Erika, Bainbridge, Roxanne, Redman-MacLaren, Michelle, Britton, Amelia, Rutherford, Katrina, and Tsey, Komla (2018) Strengthening the capacity of education staff to support the wellbeing of Indigenous students in boarding schools: a participatory action research study. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. (In Press)

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Abstract

In meeting the social and emotional learning (SEL) needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the capacities of school staff are critical. There is very limited evidence for relevant capacity development initiatives. This evaluation reports a multicomponent SEL training intervention delivered to staff of an Australian education service that operates independently of any particular school to assist with the transitions of students from remote communities to boarding schools. A participatory action research (PAR) approach was implemented over 13-months with 21 staff participants. Results from a pre-, mid- and six months post-training survey and staff interviews were analysed and fed back through reflective group discussions. The training was associated with improved staff attitudes to mental health and skills to support student wellbeing. Sixteen participants received a tertiary qualification. Despite 'working in challenging environments', staff were 'dedicated to help' students, and 'acknowledged the need for change' to better support student wellbeing. However, given the service's brokering role between families and schools, fewer staff members reported feeling empowered to influence issues in their workplace. The evaluation demonstrated the value of SEL training for education staff and potential utility for school teachers and boarding staff who have direct duty of care for Indigenous students. The multicomponent training described in this study would need to be condensed for school settings.

Item ID: 52608
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2049-7784
Keywords: social and emotional learning, resilience, workforce, education, Indigenous, capacity development, training
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 04:12
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 30%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 30%
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