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


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.