Generally, theory and research investigating the effectiveness of mentoring has offered little resounding evidence to attest to mentoring programmes being a strategic initiative that make a real difference in reducing the educational inequities many minority students endure. In contrast to this existing research base, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) has often been cited as one of the most successful mentoring initiatives within Australia. It is the purpose of this chapter to examine how AIME may impact on the educational aspirations and school self-concept of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
A series of multi-group analyses were centred around Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling techniques that sought not only to explore the psychometric validity of the measures utilized within this study, but also to identify how the measures may be related after accounting for background variables (e.g. gender, parental education).
The results found that the measures utilized held strong psychometric properties allowing an increased level of confidence in the measures used and the conclusion that may be drawn from their use in analyses. Overall, the results suggested that AIME is an effective tool for increasing not only the educational aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students but also their levels (and utility) of School Self-concept and School Enjoyment.
The implications suggest that not only is AIME an essential tool for closing the educational gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal students, but also our understanding of mentoring must be extended well beyond simplistic notions of role-modelling.