Advertisement

The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 107–125 | Cite as

Looking “outward and onward” in the outback: Regional Australian students’ aspirations and expectations for their future as framed by dominant discourses of further education and training

  • Leanne Dalley-Trim
  • Nola Alloway
Article

Abstract

This paper investigates regional Australian students’ aspirations and expectations for their future and, more specifically, the manner in which these are formulated around a view to move outward — that is, away from regional, remote and rural communities — and onward — that is, to make something of their lives. Drawing upon interview data, the paper highlights the ways in which rural students from across Australia expressed high-level aspirations, most of which centred on future careers. It explores features of student talk which demonstrates that many of them had thought about their futures in detailed ways and had accumulated knowledge and “street savvy” that would assist them in steering their futures. The paper also examines the ways in which student talk about the changing context of the world of work and the inescapability of further education emerge as a naturalised discourse in justifying their future plans. Finally, the paper explores the implications of such research findings for career advisers and teachers working in regional areas of Australia.

Keywords

Focus Group Interview Career Adviser Career Aspiration Indigenous Student Australian Council 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbott-Chapman, J. (2000). Time out spaced out.Youth Studies Australia, 19(1), 21–25.Google Scholar
  2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Education Unit, Education Queensland. (1998).1998 performance report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander career aspirations pathways program. Brisbane: Education Queensland.Google Scholar
  3. Ainley, J., & McKenzie, P. (1999). The influence of school factors. In Dusseldorp Skills Forum,Australia’s young adults: The deepening divide. (pp. 105–116). Sydney: Dusseldorp Skills Forum.Google Scholar
  4. Alloway, N., Dalley, L., Patterson, A., Walker, K., & Lenoy, M. (2004).School students making education and career decisions: Aspirations, attitudes and influences. Commonwealth of Australia: Department of Education, Science and Training Website.Google Scholar
  5. Alloway, N., Gilbert, P., Gilbert. R., & Muspratt, S. (2004).Factors impacting on student aspirations and expectations in regional Australia. Commonwealth of Australia: Department of Education, Science and Training.Google Scholar
  6. Beavis, A. (2006).On track? Students choosing a career. Camberwell Australia: Australian Council for Educational Research/The Smith Family.Google Scholar
  7. Borgen, W. A., & Amundson, N. E. (2000). Youth unemployment and the transition from high school.Educational and Vocational Guidance, 24, 32–43.Google Scholar
  8. Brookes, M., Milne, C., Paterson, K., Johansson, K., & Hart, K. (1997).Under-age school leaving: A report examining approaches to assisting young people at risk of leaving school before the legal school leaving age. Hobart: National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies.Google Scholar
  9. Bryce, J., & Anderson, M. (2008). What can be learned from the roller coaster journeys of young people making ultimately successful transitions beyond school?Australian Journal of Career Development, 17(1), 41–49.Google Scholar
  10. Bryce, J., Anderson, M., Frigo, T., & McKenzie, P. (2007).Australian young people: Their stories, their families and post-school plans. Camberwell Australia: Australian Council for Educational Research/The Smith Family.Google Scholar
  11. Collins, C., Kenway, J., & MacLeod, J. (2000).Factors influencing the educational performance of males and females in school and their initial destinations after leaving school. Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
  12. Department of Health and Aged Care and the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographical Information Systems (GISCA). (2001).Measuring remoteness: Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia. Revised Edition. Occasional Papers: New Series Number 14. Information and Research Branch, Department of Health and Aged Care.Google Scholar
  13. Dusseldorp Skills Forum. (2006a).Fearless and flexible: Views of Gen Y. A qualitative study of people aged 16 to 24 in Australia. Sydney: Dusseldorp Skills Forum.Google Scholar
  14. Dusseldorp Skills Forum. (2006b).How young people are faring 2006: Key indicators. An update about the learning and work situation of young Australians. Sydney: Dusseldorp Skills Forum.Google Scholar
  15. Dwyer, P., Harwood, A., & Tyler, D. (1998).Life patterns, choices and careers: 1991–1998. [Research Report 17.] Melbourne: Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  16. Dwyer, P., Harwood, A., & Tyler, D. (1999).Seeking the balance: Risk, choices and life priorities in the Life Patterns Project 1998/9. [Working Paper 19.] Melbourne: Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  17. Dwyer, P., Smith, G., Tyler, D., & Wyn, J. (2003).Life patterns, outcomes and adult choices. Research Report 23. Melbourne: Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  18. Flick, U. (1998).An introduction to aualitative research: Theory, method and applications. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. Furlong, A., & Cartmel, F. (1997).Young people and social change: Individualisation and risk in late modernity. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Gilbert, P., & Gilbert, R. (1995).What’s going on? Teenage girls’ experiences of educational disadvantage. Canberra: McMillan/Department of Education and Training.Google Scholar
  21. Harris, R., Rainey, L., & Sumner, R. (2006).Crazy paving or stepping stones? Learning pathways within and between vocational education and training and higher education. Leabrook: NCVER.Google Scholar
  22. Henry, M. (1998). The functions of schooling: Perspectives from rural Australia. In E. Hatton (Ed.),Understanding teaching: Curriculum and the social context of schooling (2nd ed.; pp. 400–409). Sydney: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  23. Herr, E., Cramer, S., & Niles, S. (2004).Career guidance and counselling through the lifespan: Systematic approaches (6th Ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  24. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). (1999).Bush talks. National inquiry into rural and remote education. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  25. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). (2000a).Education access: National inquiry into rural and remote education. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  26. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). (2000b).Emerging themes: National inquiry into rural and remote education. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  27. Isaacson, L., & Brown, D. (2000).Career information, career counseling, and career development (7th Ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Pearson.Google Scholar
  28. James, R., Wyn, J., Baldwin, G., Helpworth, G., Mc Innis, C., & Stephanou, A. (1999).Rural and isolated school students and their higher education choices. Commissioned Report No. 61. Melbourne: Centre for the Study of Higher Education and the Youth Research Centre, The University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  29. Kenyon, P., Sercombe, H., Black, A., & Lhuede, D. (2001).Creating better educational and employment opportunities for rural young people. A report to the National Youth Affairs Research Scheme. Hobart: Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies.Google Scholar
  30. Kilpatrick, S., & Abbott-Chapman, J. (2002). Rural young people’s work/study priorities and aspirations: The influence of family social capital.The Australian Educational Researcher, 29(1), 43–46.Google Scholar
  31. Kilpatrick, S., Field, J., & Falk, I. (2001).Social capital: An analytical tool for exploring lifelong learning and community development. Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia (CRLRA) Discussion Paper. Hobart: University of Tasmania.Google Scholar
  32. Lester, J. (2000).Evaluative research into the Office of the Board of Studies’ Aboriginal Careers Aspiration Program for Aboriginal Students in NSW High Schools. Newcastle: University of Newcastle Umulliko Indigenous Higher Education Research Centre.Google Scholar
  33. Looker, D. E., & Dwyer, P. (1998a). Education and negotiated reality: Complexities facing rural youth in the 1990s.Journal of Youth Studies, 1(1), 5–22.Google Scholar
  34. Looker, D. E., & Dwyer, P. (1998b). Rethinking research on educational transition of youth in the 1990s.Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 3(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. LSAY (Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth). (2002).Education participation and outcomes by geographic location. Camberwell: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  36. Madriz, E. (2000). Focus Groups in Feminist Research. In N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (Eds.),Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd ed; pp.835–851). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Marks, G., Fleming, N., Long, M., & McMillan, J. (2000).Patterns and participation in year 12 and higher education in Australia: Trends and issues. [LSAY Research Report No. 17.] Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  38. Mercurio, A., & Clayton, L. (2001).Imagining themselves, imagining their futures. Indigenous Australian students completing senior secondary education. Adelaide: Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia.Google Scholar
  39. Office of Youth Affairs, Tasmania. (1997).Tasmaniass rural and isolated young people — issues, solutions and strategies. Hobart: Office of Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
  40. Patton, W., & Creed, P. (2007a). Occupational aspirations and expectations of Australian adolescents.Australian Journal of Career Development, 16(1), 46–59.Google Scholar
  41. Patton, W., & Creed, P. (2007b). The relationship between career variables and occupational aspirations and expectations for Australian high school adolescents.Journal of Career Development, 34, 127–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rojewski, J. W. (2005). Occupational aspirations: Constructs, meanings, and applications. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.),Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 131–154). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  43. Schoon, I., & Parson, S. (2002). Teenage aspirations for future careers and occupational outcomes.Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 60, 262–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Spierings, J. (2001, October).Regional and local government initiatives to support youth pathways: Lessons from innovative communities. Paper presented at the Australian Council for Educational Research Understanding Youth Pathways Conference, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  45. Stimson, R., & Baum, S. (2001, August 16–17).Patterns of disadvantage and advantage across Australia’s communities: A focus on education and human capital. Paper presented at the National Education and Employment Forum. Brisbane.Google Scholar
  46. Trent, F., & Slade, M. (2001).Declining rates of achievement and retention: The perceptions of adolescent males. Canberra: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
  47. Walker, K. (2006). “Aiming high”: Australian school leavers’ career aspirations and the implications for career development practice.Australian Journal of Career Development, 15(2), 53–60.Google Scholar
  48. Warner-Smith, P., & Lee, C. (2001). The life choices, aspirations and well-being of young rural women.Youth Studies Australia, 20(3), 32–37.Google Scholar
  49. Western, J., McMillan, J., & Durrington, D. (1998).Differential access to higher education: The measurement of socioeconomic status, rurality and isolation. Canberra: Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
  50. Wyn, J. (2004). Becoming adult in the 2000s: New transitions and new careers.Family Matters, 68, 6–12.Google Scholar
  51. Wyn, J., Stokes, H., & Stafford, J. (1998).Young people living in rural Australia in the 1990s. [Research Report 16.] Melbourne: Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar
  52. Wyn, J., & Woodman, D. (2006). Generation, youth and social change.Journal of Youth Studies, 9(5), 495–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yunupingu, M. (1995).National review of education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. [Final report.] Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leanne Dalley-Trim
    • 1
  • Nola Alloway
    • 1
  1. 1.James Cook UniversityAustralia

Personalised recommendations