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Inside Teaching : April 2010
www.atra.edu.au | email@example.com RESEARCH 39 In national tests in the early years of primary schooling, Indigenous students consistently achieve at lower levels than their non-Indigenous peers, but as schooling continues the gaps gradually widen as poor attendance compounds a poor start to school. Lower achievement and interruptions to school attendance lead to lower levels of self-confidence and self-efficacy, which in turn hold back Indigenous students from academic achievement. Education is supposed to provide students with opportunities in their lives and it’s important that students and their parents understand the impact of their choices. School systems can and should have a role in furthering this understanding. ■ Sue Thomson, a principal research fellow in the PISA National Project Manager for Australia. Lisa de Bortoli is a research fellow for the Australian Council for Educational Research in the national and international surveys research program. The research reported here is based on their report, ‘Contextual factors that influence the achievements of Australia’s Indigenous students: Results from PISA 2000-2006.’ LINKS: www.ozpisa.acer.edu.au