Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Comparative Analysis; International Studies; Students; Labor Market; Education Work Relationship.

Iannelli, C., & Raffe, D. (2006). Vocational upper-secondary education and the transition from school. European Sociological Review, 23(1), 49-63.


This article is structured around two main questions: 1) do young people leaving vocational upper-secondary education make more successful transitions to employment than leavers from academic upper-secondary education, or than leavers from lower-secondary education? 2) And does this 'vocational effect' vary systematically across countries? The article distinguishes two ideal types of transition systems, based on the strength of linkages between vocational education and employment, and governed respectively by what the authors refer to as an 'employment logic' and by an 'education logic'. The vocational effect is predicted to be stronger in systems governed by the employment logic. This prediction, together with other hypotheses based on the ideal types, is tested using school-leaver survey data for the Netherlands (representing the employment logic), Scotland (representing the education logic), and Ireland and Sweden (representing intermediate cases). The ideal types are broadly supported, subject to limitations of comparability of the data.
KEY WORDS: Vocational Training; School-to-Work Transition; Formal Schooling; Comparative Research; Employment; Europe.

Jones, L., Agbayani-Siewert, P., & Friaz, G. (1998). Effects of economic stress on high school students' views of work and the future. Social Work in Education, 20(1), 11-24.


Examines high school students' (N=500) values and attitudes toward work and employment. Assesses participants' status on two mental health measures and discusses the practical implications of the findings. Students with low confidence in finding work had more mental health problems than students with high confidence.
KEY WORDS: Adolescents; Cultural Differences; Economic Climate; High School Students; High Schools; Mental Disorders; Socioeconomic Status; Student Attitudes; Unemployment; Values; Work Attitudes; Work Ethic.

Kirby, J. R., Knapper, C. K., Maki, S. A., Egnatoff, W. J., & van Melle, E. (2002). Computers and students' conceptions of learning: The transition from post-secondary education to the workplace. Educational Technology & Society, 5(2), 47-53.


Describes a survey of post-secondary students that assessed conceptions of learning and their preparation for the workplace. Highlights include use of information technology; perceptions of the learning environment; perceptions of learning needs and skills; perceptions of the demands of the future workplace; and lifelong learning.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; Educational Environment; Educational Technology; Futures (of Society); Information Technology; Job Skills; Job Training; Learning Processes; Lifelong Learning; Postsecondary Education; Student Attitudes; Student Surveys.

Krahn, H., & Taylor, A. (2005). Resilient teenagers: Explaining the high educational aspirations of visible minority immigrant youth in Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 6(3/4), 405-434.


Although schools may “damage” visible minority immigrant students in unseen ways, in general these students have high educational aspirations. National survey data from the 2000 Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) show that the educational aspirations of 15-year old visible minority immigrant Canadians are much higher than those of their native-born non-visible minority counterparts, even when we control for a wide range of socio-demographic, social psychological, and school performance factors. While these factors account for much of the observed difference between the aspirations of visible minority immigrant students and others, future research is required to better understand these differences and their implications for educational and occupational achievement.
KEY WORDS: Young Adults; Canada; Immigrants; Occupational Aspiration.

Lamb, S. (2001). The pathways from school to further study and work for Australian graduates. Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth, 19, 1-46.


The pathways of Australian graduates in their transition from school to further study and work were examined by analyzing Australian Youth Survey data regarding graduates who obtained a university degree or technical and further education (TAFE) diploma and who were enrolled for such qualifications in their seventh postschool year. Ninety-four percent of young Australians who obtained tertiary qualifications made relatively successful transitions to full-time work. Only 6% recorded experiencing major difficulty in obtaining stable full-time work or extended episodes of unemployment, part-time work, or periods out of the labor force. Characteristics associated with difficulty finding stable full-time employment were as follows: graduating a TAFE rather than with a university qualification; being from a low socioeconomic background; graduating in the fields of arts and humanities, social sciences, or education; and graduating from government schools. Although labor market benefits for graduates varied depending on pathway and study, tertiary qualifications appeared to smooth young people's transition to work. The study results supported recent policy efforts to expand the number of tertiary places and alter policies regarding government income support so as to encourage more young Australians to participate in tertiary education. Definitions of the study variables and two additional tables are appendix.
KEY WORDS: Graduates; High School Students; Life Stage Transitions; Labor Force Participation; Higher Education; Education Work Relationship; Australia; Work and Learning.
Lawy, R., & Bloomer, M. (2003). Identity and learning as a lifelong project: Situating vocational education and work. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 22(1), 24-42.
Interviews focused on the learning of two British young adults examined processes of identity transformation and transition to work. Their experiences suggest that technical/rational educational approaches fail to meet developmental needs and are inadequate for prevocational, vocational, and lifelong learning. Curriculum should focus on the agency of the learner as a driving force.
KEY WORDS: Economic Change; Education Work Relationship; Educational Change; Foreign Countries; Individual Development; Postsecondary Education; Student Needs; Vocational Education; Young Adults.

Lehmann, W. (2005). Choosing to labour: Structure and agency in school-work transitions. Canadian journal of sociology, 30(3), 325-350.


Little is known about how young people rationalize their educational and occupational plans and what this might tell us about structure and agency in school-work transitions. Based on a multi-method comparison of youth apprentices in Canada and Germany, the range of school-work transition alternatives realistically under consideration was circumscribed by socio-economic status, habitus, cultural capital, and institutional factors. While vocational choices reproduced class position, youth apprentices saw their entry into the trades as an expression of a preference for, and identity with, working-class ideals of manual work. Further analysis suggests that these narratives can also be interpreted as post-facto rationalization strategies in response to public discourses that equate life course success with ever higher levels of educational attainment.
KEY WORDS: Education; Youth; Occupational Choice; Comparative Analysis; Case Studies; Labour; Agency; Schools; Sociology; Germany; Canada.

Lehmann, W., & Taylor, A. (2003). Giving employers what they want? New vocationalism in Alberta. Journal of Education & Work, 16(1), 45-67.


This article examines three school-to-work initiatives developed in the 1990s in Alberta, Canada as reflections of a new vocational discourse that challenges traditional academic/vocational divisions. Our purpose is to consider whether new initiatives have the potential to be more progressive than earlier approaches. Drawing on policy documents and interviews with representatives from government, industry, education, and organised labour, the article focuses on the extent to which the policy discourse appears to support the kind of progressivism envisioned by more critical or reflective proponents of new vocationalism. Findings suggest that policy debates in Alberta surrounding vocational high school education continue to be largely focused on employer expectations and workplace socialisation, while more progressive perspectives that focus on the integration of academic and vocational learning as well as a deeper exploration of the social relations at work generally remain unexplored.
KEY WORDS: High Schools; Initiative; School-to-Work Transition; Vocational Education; Employer Attitudes.

Leventhal, T., Graber, J. A., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2001). Adolescent transitions to young adulthood: Antecedents, correlates, and consequences of adolescent employment. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11(3), 297-323.


Investigated antecedents, correlates, and consequences of adolescent employment among low-income, African American youth. Found that those who had repeated a grade were more likely to enter the workforce at later ages, those who entered the workforce earlier were more likely to complete high school, and stable employment during adolescence had beneficial effects on male college attendance.
KEY WORDS: Adolescent Development; Adolescents; Black Employment; Blacks; Education Work Relationship; Employment Patterns; Longitudinal Studies; Student Employment; Urban Environment; Young Adults; Youth Employment.

Levin, B. (2000). Schools and work: Towards a research agenda. In Y. Lenoir (Ed.), The Pan-Canadian education research agenda (pp. 19-35). Ottawa: Canadian Society for Studies in Education.


This paper examines current knowledge, current research capacity, and possibilities for increased capacity and a focused research agenda on the links between schools and work. The paper first describes the political and economic context for thinking about school-work issues, noting the difficulties this issue has provided and continues to present to policy-makers and practitioners. The article describes research capacity in Canada in light of an ideal-type model, noting both strengths and weaknesses in current arrangements. The paper provides a brief review of main findings from literature in Canada and other literature which highlight the complexity of the relationships between schools and the labour market.
KEY WORDS: School to Work Transitions; Paid Employment; Formal Education; Work and Learning.

Lin, Z. (2001). How do university graduates cope with risk? Exploring the relationship between education and work: An analysis of the 1992 national graduate survey. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 61(12), 4727-A.


University graduates in Canada have been significantly stratified by fields of study (FOS) in terms of income, unemployment rates, job prospects, and job satisfaction. Debates over the differential outcomes afforded by a university education focus on the tension between cultural and instrumental values, or the tension between liberal and vocational education. This dissertation, under an assumption that liberal education and vocational education are compatible, argues that an embedded liberal education, which reconciles liberal and vocational education, will more effectively prepare Canadian university graduates for the new century.
KEY WORDS: Coping; Risk; Education Work Relationship; College Graduates; Academic Disciplines; College Majors; Occupational Choice; Educational Mobility; Canada; Work and Learning; School to Work Transition; Paid Employment; Formal Education.

Linnehan, F. (2003). A longitudinal study of work-based, adult-youth mentoring. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(1), 40-54.


High school students in formal work-based mentoring (n=15), informal workplace mentoring (n-24), no mentoring (n=23), or no employment (n-28) were compared. At year's end, formally mentored students believed more strongly in school's relevance to work. Mentored students had higher self-esteem than the unemployed. Those highly satisfied with mentoring had higher self-esteem.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; High School Students; Longitudinal Studies; Mentors; Relevance (Education); Satisfaction; Self Esteem; Student Employment; Work and Learning.

Mannion, G. (2002). Open the gates an' that's it 'see ya later!' School culture and young people's transitions into post-compulsory education and training. Scottish Educational Review, 34(1), 86-100.


A study examined the role of school culture in student transitions to postcompulsory education in Scotland. Findings from 36 focus groups with 152 secondary students, college students, and job trainees indicate that schooling offered limited opportunities for identification with the world of work and for pathways other than staying on, and precluded rather than opened up choice.
KEY WORDS: Aspiration; Education Work Relationship; Foreign Countries; Negative Attitudes; Postsecondary Education; Relevance (Education); School Culture; Secondary Education; Social Class; Student Alienation; Student Attitudes; Student Experience; Teacher Attitudes; Vocational Education.

Mellard, D. F., & Lancaster, P. E. (2003). Incorporating adult community services in students' transition planning. Remedial and Special Education, 24(6), 359-368.


To address the difficult problem of transition from school to adult community services for students with learning disabilities (LD), this article provides information on available community agencies, the resources they offer, and ways school personnel might work with these agencies in an effort to enhance successful transitions for individuals with LD.
KEY WORDS: Agency Cooperation; Ancillary School Services; Community Services; Education Work Relationship; Learning Disabilities; Postsecondary Education; School Community Relationship; Secondary Education; Student Personnel Services; Transitional Programs.
Milsom, A., Akos, P., & Thompson, M. (2004). A psychoeducational group approach to postsecondary transition planning for students with learning disabilities. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 29(4), 395-411.
Group work has been identified as an important intervention to prepare children and adolescents for a variety of transitions. Students with disabilities can benefit from participation in psychoeducational groups as they prepare for their transition to postsecondary school. This article describes a psychoeducational group model designed to increase disability self-awareness, increase postsecondary education knowledge, and promote self-advocacy skills for students with learning disabilities.
KEY WORDS: Self Advocacy; Attitudes toward Disabilities; Learning Disabilities; Psychoeducational Methods; Transitional Programs; Group Counseling; School Counselors; High School Students; Intervention.

Misko, J. (2000). Getting to grips with work experience. Adelaide: National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).


This booklet, which is intended for individuals responsible for organizing student placements in work experience programs in Australia, provides an overview of the basic issues regarding work experience programs. The following are among the topics discussed in the 14 sections: (1) understanding the characteristics and purposes of industry placements (general work experience placements, vocational placements); (2) reviewing research findings; (3) identifying needs and objectives (identifying needs, setting objectives, describing goals and objectives); (4) planning placements (deciding who will be involved, fulfilling legal and insurance obligations, developing budgets, involving employers in planning placements, catering to students with special medical conditions); (5) clarifying student and employer expectations; (6) organizing placements (exploring student preferences, resources and information sessions; (7) arranging placements (school- versus student-negotiated placements); (8) communicating information (informing employers, students, parents, other teachers, and nonparticipating students); (9) preparing for placements (preparing students, workplace supervisors, teachers, and coordinators and conducting workshops for teachers and coordinators); (10) implementing training; (11) monitoring student performance (visiting students in the workplace, assessing student performance, conducting observations); (12) reporting on student performance; (13) conducting follow-up activities; and (14) evaluating placements (major and minor evaluations).
KEY WORDS: Annotated Bibliographies; Budgets; Compliance (Legal); Cooperative Planning; Decision Making; Definitions; Delivery Systems; Educational Objectives; Educational Practices; Educational Research; Educational Trends; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Instructional Development; Instructor Coordinators; Job Training; Needs Assessment; Partnerships in Education; Postsecondary Education; Program Development; Program Evaluation; Records (Forms); School Business Relationship; Secondary Education; Special Needs Students; Student Evaluation; Student Placement; Teacher Role; Technical Writing; Training Methods; Trend Analysis; Vocational Education; Work Experience Programs.

Mobley, C. (2002). Community colleges and the school-to-work transition: A multilevel analysis. Sociological Inquiry, 72(2), 256-284.


Reports the results of a national study assessing the impact of community colleges on school-to-work transition and the effects of race, gender, and socioeconomic status on student outcomes. Concludes that several variables, including transfer rate and the availability of career counseling, were related to the effect of gender and class background on wages and use of training on the job.
KEY WORDS: Community Colleges; Racial Differences; Sex Differences; Socioeconomic Status; Education Work Relationship; Governance; State Role; United States of America; Work and Learning.

Muller, W., & Gangl, M. (Eds.). (2003). Transitions from education to work in Europe: The integration of youth into EU labour markets. New York: Oxford University Press.


This book compiles an integrated series of comparative empirical analyses of education-to-work transitions in European Union countries. Individual chapters describe the educational background of young people entering the labour market, address the scope of educational expansion over the past century, and chart basic structures of transition patterns in European labour markets. Moreover, several chapters look at the role of individual qualifications, and also the impact of recent employment turbulences and structural change in the economy on school leavers' integration into the labour market. From these, the structure of education and training systems surfaces as a key institutional factor for facilitating smooth transitions into the labour market. At the level of intermediate skills, vocational training and apprenticeships have kept their advantages, in particular with respect to youth unemployment. As devaluation trends have empirically been limited so far, tertiary level qualifications similarly continue to provide a most attractive inroad into the higher segments of the occupational structure.
KEY WORDS: School to Work Transition; European Union; Youth Employment; Labour Market; Work and Learning.

Murray, A. (2000). Changes in the labour market for young adults without further education and training. Journal of Education and Work, 13(3), 327-347.


Three 7-year follow-up studies compared Swedish young adults without further education to those who had 2 years of vocational education. Employment rates decreased for all groups. The gap in employment opportunities increased between women with and without vocational training. Vocational graduates had increasing difficulty finding jobs for which they trained.
KEY WORDS: Employment Opportunities; Followup Studies; Foreign Countries; Labor Market; Salary Wage Differentials; Secondary Education; Vocational Education; Young Adults; Sweden.

Murray, C. (2003). Risk factors, protective factors, vulnerability, and resilience: A framework for understanding and supporting the adult transitions of youth with high-incidence disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 24(1), 16-26.


This article examines how the related concepts of risk factors, protective factors, and resilience relate to postschool outcomes for youth with disabilities, especially the adult transitions of youth with high-incidence disabilities. Issues related to research and practice are identified, including building resilience through support at the individual, family, school, and community levels.
KEY WORDS: Adolescents; At Risk Persons; Education Work Relationship; Mild Disabilities; Models; Needs Assessment; Research and Development; Resilience (Personality); Theory Practice Relationship; Transitional Programs.

Nairn, K., Higgins, J., & Ormond, A. (2007). Post-school horizons: New Zealand's neo-liberal generation in transition. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 17(4), 349-366.


According to the authors, dominant conceptions of the world infuse educational experiences for young people in implicit rather than explicit ways. This process occurs through experiences becoming what Stuart Hall describes as 'the horizon of the taken-for-granted'. The article explores these horizons as experienced by New Zealand's neo-liberal generation, currently 'in transition' from high school to further education, training and/or employment. As in Britain, further education has become a taken-for-granted feature of post-school horizons for young New Zealanders but it is not a meaningful destination for all of them. The article depends on a study of 93 young New Zealanders who have grown up during a period of intensive neo-liberal reform. The researchers interviewed these young people in their last year of high school and again once they were well embarked on their post-school lives, exploring how the landscapes of choice of these young people have been restructured in neo-liberal times. For some, the influences of parents, teachers, schools, universities and educational policy have come together to construct apparently wide-open horizons in which university is a taken-for-granted destination. For others, however, these influences have remained subject to assumptions about 'race' and class that have a long history in New Zealand, with the result a narrowing of future possibilities for participants.
KEY WORDS: Stuart Hall; School-to-Work Transitions; Race; Class; Neo-Liberalism; New Zealand; Educational Reform.

Nayak, A. (2003). "Boyz to men": Masculinities, schooling and labour transitions in de-industrial times. Educational Review, 55(2), 147-159.


In postindustrial society, masculinities at school must be understood in the context of family, history, locality, and global change. An ethnography of white working-class male school subculture shows how they resist globalization by asserting traditional masculinity, providing the illusion of stability.
KEY WORDS: Change; Education Work Relationship; Employment; Ethnography; Foreign Countries; Males; Masculinity; Sexual Identity; Working Class.

Nerad, M., & Cerny, J. (1999). From rumors to facts: Career outcomes of English Ph.D.s. Communicator, 32(7), 1-11.


This study examines actual employment patterns of Ph.D.s in an effort to provide a basis for policy responses to what is felt to be a continuing crisis in the academic job market for humanities Ph.D.s. The study involved almost 6,000 Ph.D. candidates from 61 doctoral-granting institutions across the United States. Six disciplines were chosen to represent major fields of study: life science, engineering, humanities, physical science, humanities, and social science; the survey population accounted for 57 percent of Ph.D. degrees awarded. Some of the issues examined include: different career paths of Ph.D.s; characteristics of English Ph.D. respondents (expectations and goals, paths to the professoriate, postdoctoral appointments); career paths of English Ph.D.s within and outside academe (nonprofessional positions in academe, business, government, and nonprofit sectors); satisfaction with current employment and value of the Ph.D. (dimensions of job satisfaction/dissatisfaction); median 1995 total annual salary by sector and gender; usefulness of the doctoral education; value of the Ph.D.; and the lack of assistance by university departments /advisors in their job search. The study suggests a Career Management program for English doctoral students that would ease the transition from education to meaningful employment, citing the career workshop developed at the University of California Berkeley.
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