A critical exploration of staff perceptions of Aboriginal boarding students experiences
SAGE Publications Inc.
School of Education
This exploratory study investigated how staff at four private boys’ boarding schools in Perth, Western Australia, constructed meaning and understanding around the experience of studying away from home and family for Aboriginal students from regional and remote communities. Interviews were conducted with 16 participants recruited from the four schools. Three major themes with corresponding sub-themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) Aboriginal Disadvantage and the sub-themes of Social Responsibility and Opportunity, (2) Academic and Social factors and the sub-themes of Culture Shock, Homesickness, Friendships and Peer Support, Literacy and Numeracy, Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Racism and (3) Relationships and the sub-themes of Staff-Student Relationship, Staff-Parent Relationship, and School-Community Relationship. The implications of these findings are discussed and implications for policy and practice are considered.