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Changing Lanes: Young people making sense of pathways

Karen Vaughan

The purpose of this paper is to sketch a picture of young people’s experiences and thoughts about their schooling, identities, and future career opportunities. It’s basically the result of some thinking I’ve been doing as NZCER begins a new longitudinal project in transition. And transition is currently a hot topic – the government have just allocated millions to a Training and Education Package, covering a number of transition initiatives.

The picture I want to sketch of young people’s experiences is an emerging picture because there is relatively little research that places young people’s experiences at the centre. Current policy doesn’t entirely match with the lived experiences of young people. Instead research and policy are structured by quite particular concepts of “youth”, “adulthood”, and “transition”. And within these, young people are seen as problematic – and youth itself is seen as a kind of transition.

Paper presented at NZCER Conference: Educating for the 21st Century: Rethinking the educational outcomes we want for young New Zealanders, 2003.

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Conference paper
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Karen Vaughan