Beyond Culture and Back, a Cognitive Approach to Attaining Learning Success in Low-Achieving Tertiary Students

Kalpana Chana

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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    The growing concern in African-Australian communities is that young students
    are not achieving their tertiary education goals successfully due to difficulties in
    adjusting to the formal education system of Australia (Australian Human Rights
    Commission, 2010). The commission reports a complex web of issues facing
    African-Australian youth attempting to adjust to the education system. One crucial negative experience being inadequate levels of support, especially in institutions that are not well resourced. This may account for their low achievement and lack of aspiration towards higher education. There is an assumption though that student gaining university entrance are already equipped with the cognitive tools needed to engage successfully with Australian university culture. When students fail to engage effectively in learning, many higher education institutions fail to recognise that the students’ cultural beliefs and attitudes towards education may not be aligned with mainstream university culture (Lawrence, 2002). However, there are few intervention programmes that can assist students on a cognitive level to consciously develop the tools needed for engaging in independent academic learning, while still acknowledging their cultural identities, and the Feuerstein method of Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) is one of them. This chapter aims to show the benefits of mediating the student’s awareness in the active use of cognitive functions in striving towards learning success. The writer’s position is clarified through the discussion of themes identified in a case study, using Feuerstein’s MLE, with an Australian low-achieving student enrolled in the tertiary enabling program at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia. The outcomes demonstrated how MLE can assist students with achieving tertiary study goals, despite their perceived low aptitude for academic achievement, and their cultural beliefs about education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAfrica Education and Diaspora Studies
    EditorsStephen D. Bolaji, Adesoji A. Oni, Stella C. Anyama
    Place of PublicationDarwin
    PublisherCharles Darwin University
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)978-0-6487995-1-1
    ISBN (Print)978-0-6487995-0-4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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