Indigenous Higher Education Graduates Challenging Stereotypes: An Ecological Approach to Resilience

By Jennifer Veldman and Andrew M. Guilfoyle.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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This paper drew on Ungar and colleagues’ (2007) conceptualisation of resilience in order to assert the need for an understanding of context-specific resilience. Utilising previous research by Sonn, Bishop, and Humphries (2000), this paper proposes that higher education Indigenous students are presented with unique challenges to study, which illuminates aspects of resilience. A “Generator vs. Degenerator” discourse shows tensions in universities’ bi-lateral potential to generate positive identity or degenerate self-concept, with corresponding context-specific aspects of resilience. This raises implications for universities, including the generating of an inclusive community environment, addressing diversity, and increasing flexibility of higher education for Indigenous students.

Keywords: Learner Diversity, Inclusive Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Policy

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 14, Issue 1, December 2014, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 223.694KB).

Jennifer Veldman

Graduate Masters Student, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Jennifer is a graduate of Masters student with interests in qualitative research.

Dr Andrew M. Guilfoyle

Associate Professor, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Dr Andrew Guilfoyle (PhD) is a Associate Professor in the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University. Andrew has published over 50 peer reviewed publications, completed several large scale national and regional funded projects and regularly presents this work at international forums. His research is focused on developing sustainable services for social inclusion of Indigenous communities and CaLD populations He works within a constructionist, participatory, locational, community based approach. His recent book chapter on Participation with Australian Aboriginal Communities’ (Elsevier Ltd: London) received an outstanding international review by Prof. Ron Chenail, Editor of The Qualitative Report ( “Participatory Action Research as Empowerment Evaluation: Andrew Guilfoyle, Juli Coffin, and Paul Maginn illustrate the utility and challenges of understanding and encouraging not only community involvement, but also community engagement in policy making and evaluation.”