05 SES 09, Transition to School (Early Childhood), Curriculum Pathway Planning and School to Work Transitions
The processes being used in senior secondary schools to help youth select what to study in the senior years of schooling have received little attention (Gowlett, 2012). Much focus has been given to what subjects students select, how they perform in those areas of study and what post-schooling goals they aspire to, but little commentary surrounds the practices being adopted in secondary schools that shape the decisions made by youth. This paper explores, therefore, this burgeoning space within schools that is often forgotten.
How schools help youth to make decisions about their future is a difficult research space to capture since practices (a) can vary widely across schooling contexts (b) be conducted behind closed doors (such as individual student interviews) and (c) occur in school spaces outside of the formal classroom such as subject selection evenings and school assemblies. Despite the potential variance in practices across school settings, the commonality often lies with the intent of such practices – to prepare youth for work. Schools are often positioned as facilitators of human capital production and charged with the responsibility of preparing youth for participation in the workforce. It is the identity work embedded in the practices that this paper explores by engaging with the theoretical tools of Judith Butler.
The following research questions will guide the presentation:
1. How does the use of Judith Butler’s theoretical ideas, especially her concept of performativity, shift the way we think about youth transition from school into post-schooling life?
2. Although post-schooling advice may not occur in formal educational spaces within schools, how can we better capture what is taking place? What are some helpful research methods to collect data about this research topic?
3. What does the application of Butler’s version of performativity ‘look like’ when applied to the context of post-schooling transition research?
Gowlett, C. (2012). Genderational Poverty: Using Butler To Think Differently About Senior Schooling. International Journal of Inclusive Education. 21(2): 1-12.
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