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Gudaga goes to school study: methods used in understanding school transitions and early education experiences of an urban Aboriginal cohort

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The Gudaga Goes to School Study described the transition to school and early education experiences of 117 urban Aboriginal children and their families. This paper outlines the methods and design of the study. A life course approach, employing multidimensional and multi-theoretical frameworks was used to capture the complexity of issues surrounding the transition and early school experiences with multi-methods used to collect data from children, parents and teachers. Quantitative data included questionnaires, checklists and educational assessments to track children’s academic progress, school attendance, and social/emotional/behavioural development. Qualitative data consisted of semi-structured interviews and focus groups to gain the perspective of stakeholders. Children also participated using photography and drawing mediums. The community controlled study was conceived, designed and conducted in close consultation with the local Aboriginal community.
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Keywords: Aboriginal children and families; early childhood education; life course theory; transition to school

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Health Equity Training Research Evaluation (CHETRE), A member of the Ingham Institute, UNSW Australia, Sydney, Australia 2: Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia 3: Faculty of Education, Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE), Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia 4: Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Australia, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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