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Innovative pathways from secondary school: Gaining a sense of direction

Sally Boyd and Sue McDowall

Innovative Pathways is a longitudinal study of seven senior secondary programmes at low decile schools which were designed to assist students in their transition to the workforce and/or tertiary education.

This paper describes students' and teachers' thoughts, as the students were about to leave school at the end of 2002, on how these programmes helped to prepare students to take their next step after school.

The different ways in which the programmes made connections with the workforce and the tertiary environment in an attempt to raise students’ aspirations and "staircase" them towards further study or employment are examined, as is the types of transition support provided by school staff and family and friends. The way in which the transition support from school was embedded within the structure of the programmes and was provided in the context of trusting student-teacher relationships is discussed.

This paper poses some questions about the role of teachers and careers advisors in providing transition support.

Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) / New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) conference, Auckland, 30 November - 3 December 2003.

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Conference paper
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