14 SES 05 A, School-related Transitions - Secondary and Beyond (Migrant Students and Families)
Migration flows around the world have increased over recent decades especially in developed countries such as New Zealand ( UN, 2015). Although globalization, as well as economic recessions, are contextual factors that can mediate employment opportunities for all (Bell & Blanchflower, 2011), immigrants are especially vulnerable to the risk of unemployment and insecure and low-wage jobs due to the potential for discrimination and social exclusion (Standing, 2011). This is particularly the case for youth from immigrant backgrounds, who are more at risk of unemployment and for whom the processes of transitioning from school to work take longer in comparison to domestic students (GMG, 2014). More recent immigrants are less confident in their skills and ability to find work (Neumark, 2007). For example, in New Zealand in 2013, 77 percent of migrant youth aged between 15 and 18 whose length of stay was less than five years were unemployed, compared to 63 percent for students who had lived in the country more than 15 years (MoB, 2017). According to New Zealand education policies, career advisors are part of the support structure to enhance the school-to-work transition.
A preliminary review of literature on the school-to-work transition among youth suggests that, in addition to providing career information, career advisors need to focus on students’ career development, helping students develop self-awareness and skills for decision making (Furbish, 2016; Vaughan & Gardiner, 2007). Moreover, family involvement in career-related programs and parent-career advisor relationships can influence students’ school-to-work transitions (Furbish, 2016; Vaughan, 2010). Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand (MoE, 2009) makes explicit reference to at-risk students, who it defines as those who do not have proper career competence, such as self-awareness and ability to explore opportunities. Māori, Pacific, refugee, and immigrant students often belong to this group. , Despite this, immigrant students have not been given equal attention by the school to work researchers in New Zealand. Research on immigrant populations has indicated that both career advisors (Aspden et al., 2015) and family (Byrne, Willis, & Burke, 2012) are influential in the school-to-work transition process. While there is a growing body of studies focusing on career advisors’ experiences of school-to-work transition, limited studies have explored this issue by exploring parents’ Expectations and perspectives
This research presented here explores what influences the school-to-work transition of young people from immigrant backgrounds in New Zealand and focuses on five main research questions: 1) What is the career advisors’ perception of their role in the school-to-work transition among youth? 2) What influences career advisors’ support? 3) What is the families’ perception of their role in the school-to-work transition among youth? 4) What influence families’ support? 5) What challenges do families perceive immigrant youth face during the school-to-work transition? The findings of this research will contribute a better understanding of the school-to-work transition for immigrant youth and provide foundations to help policymakers and school communities develop actions to address the contradictions between the needs of immigrant families and careers education. Although the study is carried out in New Zealand, its importance is broad relevance, because the findings can serve as a guide for further analysis in different contexts, including European countries.
This phenomenological study focuses on understanding the experiences of both parents and career advisors in the transition process from school-to-work (Crotty, 1998). Semi-structured and focus group interviews were used to generate data with a purposive sample of fifteen parents of high school students who are level two or three in New Zealand National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and who have been in New Zealand for five years or less; also five career advisors from schools with high populations of cultural diversity in Christchurch, New Zealand were recruited. Participants were interviewed once or twice and each interview did not last longer than an hour. Interviews were mainly conducted in English, but upon the parents’ request, some interviews with participants from Iranian and Afghani communities were conducted in Farsi. To explore how meanings and knowledge are constructed among immigrant parents and “facilitate the expression of ideas and experiences that might be left underdeveloped in an interview with a single participant” (Ravitch & Carl, 2015, p. 168), a focus group was conducted. In this study, the individual interviews (both English and Farsi) were transcribed verbatim by the researcher in the original language. There are different models proposed by scholars to analyse and present non-English data (Choi, Kushner, Mill, & Lai, 2012; Esfehani & Walters, 2018). This study draws on the timing model of translation introduced by Esfehani and Walters (2018), which argued that the best phase for translating is when the researcher develops codes and themes in his or her language and translates and presents them into English. Thematic analysis is well-suited for this phenomenological study since the focus is on participants’ experiences and exploring how these meanings are constructed. The framework proposed by Smith (2015) was used to analyze the data.
While this study is continuing, preliminary findings from parents’ interviews inform this presentation. The data shows that parents and students experienced complex settling and decision making process and educational structure, amount and type of support they receive from careers staff has important influence. This finding is in consistence with Webber et al. (2018) work showed that the connection and relationship between the parents and the school facilitate the transition from school-to-work. Moreover, in New Zealand school policy, Whanaungatanga which is one of the four fundamental concepts for supporting young people, emphasised on establishing teacher-learner connection and contractions to promote students and their families engagement (ERO, 2020). The data also shows that parents may find themselves excluded and disempowered in their children careers decisions. Differences and a mismatch between the school approach and parents’ guidance can also lead to students being confused in terms of choosing a career, which leads to complex transitions. Irving (2009) argued that this is because the guidelines for involving parents in their children’s education in New Zealand rests on dominant white family values. Finally, from the parents’ perspective, language and cultural differences are not the only challenge for immigrant students; lack of social support may also affect their future career (Wylie & Hodgen, 2011). To conclude, parents identify students such as immigrants most likely need extra support in building up their confidence, language and learning. To address these concerns, schools can promote the transition process by employing bilingual teacher aids and asking for support from different communities and social services.
Aspden, T., Cooper, R., Liu, Y., Marowa, M., Rubio, C., Waterhouse, E.-J., & Sheridan, J. (2015). What secondary school career advisors in New Zealand know about pharmacy and how that knowledge affects student career choices. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(1), 1-8. doi:10.5688/ajpe79107 Bell, D., & Blanchflower, D. (2011). Youth unemployment in Europe and the United States. Nordic Economic Policy Review, 1(2011), 11-37. Byrne, M. m. b. d. i., Willis, P. p. w. d. i., & Burke, J. (2012). Influences on school leavers' career decisions - Implications for the accounting profession. International Journal of Management Education (Oxford Brookes University), 10(2), 101-111. doi:10.1016/j.ijme.2012.03.005 Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: meaning and perspective in the research process. London;Thousand Oaks, Calif;: Sage Publications. ERO. (2020). Effective practices to promote and respond to wellbeing. Esfehani, M.H. and Walters, T. (2018), "Lost in translation? Cross-language thematic analysis in tourism and hospitality research", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 11, pp. 3158-3174. Furbish. (2016). Career Development Association. Retrieved from http://www.cdanz.org.nz/files/resources/2016%20Presentations/Scoping%20Paper%2024July.pdf GMG. (2014). GMG Publication on Migration and Youth: Challenges and Opportunities. Retrieved from http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/migrationandyouth Irving, B. A. (2009). Locating social justice in career education : what can a small-scale study from New Zealand tell us? Australian Journal of Career Development, 18(2), 13-23. doi:10.1177/103841620901800204 MoB. (2017). Migrant Youth: A statistical profile of recently arrived young migrants. Retrieved from MoE. (2009). Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand. Ministry of Education. Neumark, D. (2007). Improving school-to-work transitions. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Ravitch, S. M., & Carl, N. M. (2015). Qualitative research: Bridging the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological: Sage Publications. Smith, J. A. (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Birkbeck College, UK: SAGE Publications Ltd. Standing, G. (2011). The Precariat : The New Dangerous Class. London, UNITED KINGDOM: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. UN. (2015). Trend in International Migrants. Vaughan, K. (2010). Learning workers: Young New Zealanders and early career development. Vocations and Learning, 3(2), 157-178. Vaughan, K., & Gardiner, B. (2007). Careers education in New Zealand schools: New Zealand Council for Educational Research= Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa mō te Rangahau i te Mātauranga. Webber, M., Eaton, J., Cockle, V., Linley-Richardson, T., Rangi, M., & O’Connor, K. (2018). Starpath Phase Three – Final Report. Retrieved from Auckland: Wylie, C., & Hodgen, E. (2011). Forming adulthood. Past, present and future in the experiences and views of the competent learners, 20.
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