Get access

Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Multiple Goal Research among Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Australian Students


  • This research was supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP 0561651 (with the Northern Territory Department Education and Training; NTDET). I would like to thank a number of people who at various times contributed to the research, Paul Atkins, Lyn Fasoli, Jeannie Herbert, Peter Stephenson, Leonora Adidi, Alma Mir, Liz Grylls, Jinnat Ali, Amy Lam, Zenith Chiu, Gregory Liem, Howard Sercombe, Trevor Cook and Juhani Tuovinen, and numerous school principals and personnel at each of the schools, and the parents of the children surveyed, and most importantly the children themselves who completed the survey with interest and diligence.

Dennis M. McInerney, Psychological Studies Department, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong. Email:


This paper reports on a large-scale quantitative psychometric study conducted in very remote and remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory Australia. Thirteen school sites and 1,044 participants contributed to the study. The full study is concerned with examining the inter-relationships between multiple achievement goals, future goals, self-regulation, and learning processes and their relationship to achievement outcomes in communities that are very remote geographically and culturally from Western settings. The study reported in this paper sets out to examine four key issues: the construct validity and reliability of the multiple motivational scales drawn from Personal Investment theory for very remote and remote Indigenous students in Australia; the level of endorsement of these motivational scales for remote and very remote Indigenous students; any differences between groups considered collectivist and individualist on these multiple goals, and lastly, the theoretical, methodological, cultural, and logistical difficulties encountered in conducting the research that may have impacted on its external validity.