Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Afrikaans adolescents' perceptions and experiences of cultures of learning in Western Australia: A focus on Afrikaans immigrant adolescents enrolled in secondary schools in Western Australia

Kelleher, Victoria Therese (2021) Afrikaans adolescents' perceptions and experiences of cultures of learning in Western Australia: A focus on Afrikaans immigrant adolescents enrolled in secondary schools in Western Australia. Professional Doctorate thesis, Murdoch University.

[img]
Preview
PDF - Whole Thesis
Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

This study examined the educational experiences of Afrikaans immigrant adolescents enrolled in Western Australian secondary schools by asking the question, ‘How do Afrikaans students perceive and experience cultures of learning in secondary schools in Western Australia?’. The focus of this study is timely, given the growing numbers of Afrikaans immigrants choosing Perth as their migration destination and, as a result, the increasing number of immigrant adolescents in secondary schools across Western Australia. The aim of the study was to understand the experiences of these students to further strengthen school practices in terms of their capacity to support and engage this growing population.

This qualitative study drew on theoretical concepts of environment (Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory), identity (Phinney’s Ethnic Identity Theory), and cultures of learning (Jin and Cortazzi’s Culture of Learning) to investigate the educational experiences of these students. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of qualitative data, collected through semistructured interviews with student (n=12) and parent (n=12) participants, was employed to examine how participants experience secondary schooling in Western Australia.

The data analysis generated three superordinate themes: peers with similar ethnic identities are significant others who can help a smooth transition for immigrant students to secondary school; new cultures of teaching and learning need to be learned by immigrant students in a new environment; and parents’ efforts to embed moral values and foster the importance of education, act as motivational factors for these students.

The findings revealed the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which contributed to the educational experience of the student participants. They underline how student participants enjoyed a more positive experience when there was sufficient support available to them by their peers, their teachers, or their families. Additionally, from the findings generated in this study, it is my belief student experiences can be enhanced via peer relationships, a multicultural curriculum that explores identity and celebrates ethnicity, and parents who have a clear understanding of the Australian education system. Findings from this study provide important insights including addressing how peers who have similar ethnic identities are significant others who can help a smooth transition for immigrant students to secondary school (peer support); how new cultures of learning need to be learned by immigrant students in a new environment (clear cultures of learning); and how parents efforts for embedding moral values and fostering the importance of education motivates immigrant students (parental influence). The findings highlight the importance of understanding the perceptions and experiences of immigrant adolescents and can inform the efforts of education professionals to effectively address the needs of immigrant adolescents during critical developmental periods. Continued research into the potential support and service provision for Afrikaans immigrant adolescents may offer better experiences for these immigrant youth.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
United Nations SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education
Supervisor(s): Perry, Laura and Ledger, Susan
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/62538
Item Control Page Item Control Page

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year