Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Informal Learning; Formal Education, Schooling.

Chang, W. (2002). A study on the transition from school to the world of work in Korea. Seoul: Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training.


The school-to-work transition in Korea was examined in a comprehensive study that included an overview of the realities of the school-to-work transition in Korea and a survey of 694 Koreans aged 15-29 years who had completed high school. The sample included 366 respondents who were in enrolled in a two-year college or higher level of postsecondary education. The study established that Korean schools and society are not systematically helping Korean youths make the transition from school to work but are instead leaving responsibility for a successful school-to-work transition to graduates themselves. Many Korean students were being forced to seek employment individually through informal means. Even after entering the workforce, many Korean graduates faced problems adjusting to the environment, adverse work conditions, and bleak future prospects. The following were among the seven recommendations for establishing a school-to-work transition network: (1) provide all students with preparation for the workplace, including workplace experience and field training; (2) provide the diversity and flexibility required to ensure opportunities for employment and continued education after high school; (3) establish an institutional mechanism for networking schools and enterprises; and (4) establish a local network to enable all members of society to share the responsibility of smoothing students' transition into the workplace.
KEY WORDS: Adjustment (to Environment); Articulation (Education); Colleges; Definitions; Delivery Systems; Developing Nations; Education Work Relationship; Educational Attainment; Educational Planning; Educational Policy; Educational Quality; Employment Opportunities; Employment Patterns; Employment Qualifications; Employment Services; Enrollment Trends; Entry Workers; Foreign Countries; High Schools; Higher Education; Job Placement; Labor Market; Literature Reviews; Outcomes of Education; Policy Formation; Systems Approach; Trend Analysis; Two Year Colleges; Universities; Vocational Education; Work Environment; Youth Employment; Korea; Work and Learning.

Cherednichenko, G. A. (2005). The life trajectories of young people at different stages of education. Russian Education and Society, 47(5), 7-29.


It is not conceivable that young people can acquire social status without a general education and professional training. By developing a person's socially significant natural talents, abilities, and personal inclinations, the system of education is preparing him or her not only to take part in production activity but also to become a full-fledged member of the socium. For the young men and women themselves, becoming an independent adult entails making a series of decisions that depend on the education that they already have and that foster its further growth.
KEY WORDS: Professional Training; Young Adults; Social Status.

Cieslik, M., & Simpson, D. (2006). Skills for life? Basic skills and marginal transitions from school to work. Journal of Youth Studies, 9(2), 213-229.


This article presents research from a qualitative research project exploring the influence of basic skills on the school-to-work transitions of young adults. The authors argue that many young people have poor skills yet it is a neglected area of study. The article documents how skill competencies act as barriers to learning and labour market opportunities, illustrating that some individuals are `reticent' about accessing opportunities and that individual decision-making and agency are important to transitions. The paper points to strong links between decision-making and the structuring effects of prior learning experiences, and indicates how structural conditioning and agential processes are connected and together shape transition routes.
KEY WORDS: School-to-Work Transition; Skill; Agency; Labour Market; Qualitative; Prior Learning; Schooling.

Cook, T., & Furstenberg, F. F., Jr. (2002). Explaining aspects of the transition to adulthood in Italy, Sweden, Germany, and the United States: A cross-disciplinary, case synthesis approach. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 580(Mar), 257-287.


This article synthesizes essays on Italy, Sweden, Germany, and the United States that were presented at a conference seeking to explain the school, work, and family findings outlined in these foregoing chapters. Three essays were written per country by a social historian, by a developmental scientist, and by someone in social policy. This article synthesizes these country-specific accounts. For Italy, the synthesis constructed stresses the accommodations the Italian family has to make because of the protracted period during which adult children live at home. For Sweden, the synthesis emphasizes the willingness of many formal and informal institutions to support youthful experimentation, so long as it does not go over into the early twenties. For Germany, the synthesis stresses the strains the apprenticeship system is under because of the increasing strength of market-oriented labor policies in German business. And for the United States, the synthesis emphasizes how race and poverty create particularly difficult transitions in a nation that stresses individual initiative, and where second or third chances are available but are not easily attainable.
KEY WORDS: Italy; Sweden; Federal Republic of Germany; United States of America; Youth; Adults; Young Adults.

Cuoppie, T., & Epiphane, D. (2002). Closing the gender gap? Non-traditional curriculum and entry into working life. Training and Employment, 44(6), 1 - 4.


Findings from the 1992 Generation survey carried out by Creq in 1997 among young people exiting the French school system demonstrates that work-related disparities encountered by young labor market entrants in France can be characterized according to the worker's gender. Obstacles facing women include the following: (1) risk of unemployment or imposed part-time work; (2) lower wages; and (3) more difficult access to managerial posts. These inequalities are often interpreted to be the result of gender segregation or unequal access in the educational process. Under specific conditions, non-traditional education and training (in programs usually reserved for men) can benefit young women in the school-to-work transition. However, in the most mixed training programs (programs traditionally chosen by men and women alike), women still face more workplace disparities than men. Gender inequities do tend to diminish as training levels increase. Gradual improvement is also happening due to labor market influences such as the 35-hour work week and other government policies and changing perceptions about gender roles and stereotypes.
KEY WORDS: Equal Opportunities (Jobs); Degrees (Academic); Developed Nations: Education Work Relationship; Employment Opportunities; Educational Opportunities; Employment Patterns; Entry Workers; Equal Education; Females; Foreign Countries; Gender Issues; High Schools; Job Placement; Job Security; Labor Market; Males; Managerial Occupations; Nontraditional Occupations; Outcomes Of Education; Part Time Employment; Postsecondary Education; Public Policy; Salary Wage Differentials; Sex Bias; Sex Differences; Sex Discrimination; Sex Fairness; Sex Stereotypes; Skilled Occupations; Socioeconomic Status; Tenure; Unemployment; Vocational Education; Women's Education; Working Hours; Youth Employment; France; Work And Learning.

Eisenman, L. T. (2003). Theories in practice: School-to-work transitions-for-youth with mild disabilities. Exceptionality, 11(2), 89-102.


Discussion of school-to-work (STW) transitions for youth with mild disabilities first summarizes current research and models of practice on STW transition in special education, then identifies implicit yet infrequently named theories in research and practice, makes connections to STW theories outside special education, and suggests how emerging perspectives can shape future research.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; Educational Practices; High Schools; Mild Disabilities; Models; Research Needs; Research Utilization; Special Education; Theory Practice Relationship; Transitional Programs.

Evans, K. B., Martina; Kaluza, Jens. (2000). Learning and work in the risk society: Lessons for the labour markets of Europe from Eastern Germany. New York, NY: Palgrave.


The education-to-labor market transitions experienced by young people in England and in eastern and western Germany were compared. The eastern German portion of the study was based on a 1996 study that included a survey of 100 trainers and 1,000 apprentices in 12 companies; in-depth interviews with 18 trainers, career advisers, and others; and interviews with 12 young eastern Germans who had experienced relatively smooth education-to-work transitions and 12 young eastern Germans whose education-to-work transitions had not been smooth. The findings were compared with those of earlier interviews with 12 western German and 12 English youths who had recently completed the education-to-labor market transition. The analysis of transition behaviors and experiences in eastern Germany revealed considerable resonances with the problems and contradictions that have beset British education and training policy in recent decades. It was concluded that the erosion of the dual system of vocational education and training (employer-sponsor apprenticeships and government-sponsored vocational schools) documented in eastern Germany might portend future trends in western Germany. (Twenty tables/figures are included. The following items are appended: chronicle of events in 1989-1990; information about Leipzig's school system; diagrams illustrating school-to-work trajectories in West Germany and England; and a report on a study of transitions, careers, and destinations in West Germany and England.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; At Risk Persons; Career Choice; Career Development; Career Ladders; College Graduates; Comparative Analysis; Delivery Systems; Economic Climate; Education Work Relationship; Educational Environment; Educational Needs; Educational Policy; Educational Trends; Employment Patterns; Entry Workers; Foreign Countries; Graduate Surveys; Job Training; Labor Market; Labor Supply; Needs Assessment; Outcomes of Education; Politics; Postsecondary Education; Social Change; Systems Approach; Tables (Data); Teacher Attitudes; Trainers; Trend Analysis; Unemployment; Vocational Adjustment; Vocational Education; Youth Employment.

Feller, R. W. (2003). Aligning school counseling, the changing workplace, and career development assumptions. Professional School Counseling, 6(4), 262-271.


Examines the role of school counselors and school counseling programs in preparing students for learning and work transitions. Offers advice for students to respond effectively to changing workplace needs and information on work skills that are required for graduates and job applicants. Addresses strategies in developing comprehensive career development programs.
KEY WORDS: Career Development; Counselor Role; Education Work Relationship; Employment Patterns; Employment Potential; Job Skills; Program Development; School Counseling; School Counselors; Work Environment.

Finnie, R. (2000). From school to work: The evolution of early labour market outcomes of Canadian postsecondary graduates. Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques, 26(2), 197-224.


This article reports the results of an empirical analysis of the early labor market outcomes of Canadian postsecondary graduates based on the National Graduates Surveys, representing those who finished their college or university programs in 1982, 1986, and 1990. The major findings include that postsecondary graduates have generally been doing quite well as a group, with most finding full-time and permanent jobs, receiving reasonably high earnings, and otherwise successfully moving into the labor market according to the various outcomes measured here; that the school-to-work transition is clearly a process, rather than an event, with most outcomes improving significantly from two to five years following graduation; that these outcomes vary by level (College, Bachelor's, Master's, PhD) and sex; and that successive cohorts of graduates did not experience any widespread decline in their labor market fortunes over this period.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; Labor Market; Canada; College Graduates; Wages; Labor Force Participation; Employment; Occupational Status; Sex Differences; Work and Learning.

Gallart, M. A. (2001). Poverty, youth, and training: A study on four countries in Latin America. Compare, 48a(1), 113-128.


Evaluates educational and occupational variables in a target population of youth in four Latin American countries. Argues that poor youth miss the formal education necessary for entry into the labor market. Questions whether training systems compensate for this limitation and whether these training courses connect with the labor market.
KEY WORDS: Comparative Education; Economics; Education Work Relationship; Educational Environment; Foreign Countries; Job Training; Occupational Information; Poverty; Qualitative Research; Secondary Education; Vocational Education; Youth.
Gangl, M. (2001). European patterns of labour market entry: A dichotomy of occupationalized vs. non-occupationalized systems? European Societies, 3(4), 471-494.
Many recent comparative studies of school-to-work transitions have revolved around the notion of an institutional dichotomy of transition arrangements that distinguishes the occupational labor markets of countries exhibiting extensive systems of vocational training and apprenticeships from the organizational markets found in countries with less integrated education and employment systems. This study scrutinizes this idea by assessing the extent to which patterns of labor market entry in twelve European Union countries empirically conform to the expected dichotomy. Based on cluster and discriminant analyses, three rather than two typical patterns emerge from the analyses: first, the continental European countries running extensive vocational training systems; second, those Northern European countries lacking such systems, and, finally, a homogeneous set of Southern European countries. While the first contrast is apparently broadly consistent with current institutionalist arguments about the impact of linkages between training systems and labor markets, the explanation for the deviation of the Southern European case is wanting. The results suggest both the need to incorporate additional institutional aspects into current transition research, but also stress the limitations of typological approaches in explaining cross-national differences in transition processes more generally.
KEY WORDS: Europe; Life Stage Transitions; Labor Force Participation; Crosscultural Differences; Labor Market; Vocational Education; Professional Training.

Gendron, B. (2005). The French vocational "baccalaureat" diploma: Space of a plural transition for the youth. European Journal: Vocational Training(36), 33-46.


The French secondary hierarchical educational system resting upon strong structuring dualisms, has been modified by the creation of the vocational baccalaureat. This aims at offering students who failed in general education a path for continuing their studies or catching up through tracks that are socially more prestigious. Some 20 years after its creation, do students find in this diploma a chance to create their own pathway? Has it changed the social perception of vocational education and training (VET)? From our research, this track seems to be, for students, a space, time and period for a plural transition: from failure to success, from weak self-esteem to self-confidence, from dependence to autonomy, from childhood to adulthood, from school to work. Using case-studies, we analyse the diverse transitions occurring, mainly during the school period, through the dynamic of social representation of VET.
KEY WORDS: Vocational Education; Academic Degrees; Youth; Secondary Education; Case Studies; Foreign Countries; Education Work Relationship.

Gerber, T. P. (2003). Loosening links? School-to-work transitions and institutional change in Russia since 1970. Social Forces, 82(1), 241-276.


Data from a survey of 4,809 Russians were used to examine the association between educational attainment and first occupation for Russians who completed their education and entered the labor market between 1970 and 2000. The results confirm previous findings of continuity in social stratification in post-Soviet Russia, despite rapid, major institutional changes connected with market transition.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; Educational Attainment; Educational Status Comparison; Entry Workers; Foreign Countries; Sex Differences; Social Change; Social Stratification; Sociocultural Patterns.

Goodwin, J., & O'Connor, H. (2001). "I couldn't wait for the day": Young workers' reflections on education during the transition to work in the 1960s. CLMS working paper. Lancaster: Economic and Social Research Council.


Researchers analyzed 500 never-before-analyzed interviews from a study conducted by Norbert Elias and other researchers at University of Leicester in 1962, which was one of the first studies of the transition from school to work. The Elias study explored how young people in England experienced work and adjusted their lives to the work role. All of the interviews analyzed were from males, most of whom were aged 15 and in their first jobs. About 100 were from males 16 or older, and 12 of the interviewees were in at least their fourth job. The data suggest that the workers' pre-work home and school experiences were important in their expectations and experiences of work. For the majority, school was largely negative and most wanted to leave, despite having low and negative expectations of work. Earning money was a key dimension of work, although the extent to which the young workers realized their desires to earn and spend money depended a great deal on the household allocation of resources. The data suggest that young people in the 1960s had concerns similar to present day youths' about the school to work transition.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; Employer Employee Relationship; Entry Workers; Expectation; Family Role; Family-Work Relationship; Field Interviews; Foreign Countries; Job Satisfaction; National Surveys; Noncollege Bound Students; Qualitative Research; School Attitudes; Secondary Education; Social History; Student Attitudes; Vocational Adjustment; Work Attitudes; Work Life Expectancy; Youth Employment; Allowances (Pocket Money); Life Transitions; 1960s; Work and Learning.

Goodwin, J., & O'Connor, H. (2005). Engineer, mechanic or carpenter? Boys' transitions to work in the 1960s. Journal of Education & Work, 18(4), 451-471.


In this paper, the authors seek to examine the gendered nature of boys' school to work transitions for a group of young male workers entering employment for the first time in the 1960s. They argue that such an enquiry is important because past studies of transitions have not problematised boys' school to work transitions in terms of gender. Moreover, where gender has been employed as an analytical category, it has been used as shorthand to describe the experiences of women. They drew upon data from Norbert Elias's largely unknown "Adjustment of young workers to work situations and adult roles" project to examine the boys' experiences of the transition process in terms of reflections on school, thinking about work, finding and adjusting to work and thinking about the future. Analysis of these data reveals that young males do experience the transition to work as a gendered process and paid employment confirms aspects of their male identity.
KEY WORDS: Males; Education Work Relationship; Foreign Countries; Sexual Identity; Gender Differences; Early School Leavers; Occupational Aspiration; Masculinity; Labor Market.
Gregory, R. J. (2002). Enhancing the school to work transition: Big picture ideas for young people. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 10(4), 319-328.
Young people are facing an unprecedented global situation, given several recent developments, such as population increases & technology that have reduced the requirements for general labor & for entry jobs. As a result, many young people are disenchanted, disillusioned, & frustrated. All too many are caught up in disastrous social situations, & some commit suicide. However, given diminished resources, rapid population increases, emergence of the proverbial powers-that-be & their stranglehold on the economy & society, & other factors, significant change in the global system appears difficult. Long-range remedies must look to young people themselves, unless the vested powers that be, or more liberal & progressive leadership, create more vocational & lifestyle opportunities.
KEY WORDS: Youth; Life Stage Transitions; World Problems; Employment Opportunities; The Family and Socialization; Adolescence & Youth; Work and Learning.

Heinz, W., & Taylor, A. (2005). Learning and work transition policies in a comparative perspective: Canada and Germany. In K. Leithwood, D. Livingstone, A. Cumming, N. Bascia & A. Datnow (Eds.), International Handbook of Educational Policy (Vol. 2, pp. 847-864). New York: Kluwer.


The author looks at the growing influence of today's newest "Creative Class," which derives its identity and values from its role as purveyors of creativity and comprises nearly 40 million Americans and 25 percent of all employed people. The author also provides innovative and practical lessons for businesses and employees.
KEY WORDS: School to Work Transitions; Formal Education; Paid Employment; Work and Learning.

Herschbach, D., & Campbell, C. (Eds.). (2000). Workforce preparation: An international perspective. Ann Arbor: Tech Directions Books.


In this book, 20 leaders in workforce/vocational education and training from around the world detail how different countries are changing their schools and workplaces to strengthen employment-related education.
KEY WORDS: Vocational Education; Occupational Training; Work and Learning.

Hyland, T., & Musson, D. (2001). Unpacking the new deal for young people: Promise and problems. Educational Studies, 27(1), 55-67.


After two years of operation on a national scale, the New Deal Welfare to Work (WtW) program for young people aged 18-24 (New Deal for Young People [NDYP]) has been extensively evaluated both by official government & independent researchers. This research is analyzed within a policy framework and the main findings are examined against the background of a case study of the NDYP by Coventry Employment Services. The article concludes with suggestions for the improvement of NDYP program.
KEY WORDS: Welfare Reform; Young Adults; Great Britain; Vocational Education; Public Policy; Workfare; Job Training; Welfare Policy.

Iannelli, C. (2004). School variation in youth transitions in Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands. Comparative Education, 40(3), 401-425.


In recent years there has been a growing interest in the comparative study of youth transitions. National and international studies have analysed the role of individual and institutional (education and labour market) factors in shaping the transition from school to the labour market. Using data drawn from a cross-national database of secondary school leavers and multilevel modelling, this paper aims to improve upon the existing research through the analysis of the effect of school factors (as well as individual factors) on pupils' post-school outcomes. Results show that school variations in pupils' post-school outcomes are mainly accounted for by curriculum type in the Netherlands, individual factors in Scotland and a mix of individual and school factors in Ireland.
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