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Well I know I need English and Maths ...

Rosemary Hipkins and Karen Vaughan

With the advent of New Zealand’s NCEA reforms, subject choice is becoming more complex.

In this paper we suggest that the notion that traditional subjects will be important ‘just because’ is no longer an adequate basis for sound subject choice decision-making.

We report on students’ opinions and beliefs about their Year 11 subject choices, collected during the initial stages of a 3-year longitudinal study. The research, Learning Curves: Meeting Student Needs in an Evolving Qualifications Regime, suggests interesting new challenges for careers advisers and other teachers.

Such challenges include:

  • being able to link within-subject variation to specific types of study/career goals
  • working with students to think beyond a simple instrumentalism in school learning/teaching and subject choice
  • finding ways of becoming more influential in students’ decision-making networks.

Paper presented at Pushing the Boundaries: An International Conference for the Careers Industry, Wellington, 28 – 30 November 2002

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Conference paper
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