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New Patterns of Youth Transition in Education Johanna Wyn Australian Youth Research Centre The University of Melbourne International Youth Researcher meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "New Patterns of Youth Transition in Education Johanna Wyn Australian Youth Research Centre The University of Melbourne International Youth Researcher meeting."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Patterns of Youth Transition in Education Johanna Wyn Australian Youth Research Centre The University of Melbourne International Youth Researcher meeting International Council on National Youth Policy Vienna, December 2006

2 Life-Patterns research program Longitudinal panel cohort program of research Longitudinal panel cohort program of research Cohort 1: 18 yrs old in 1991 Cohort 1: 18 yrs old in 1991 Cohort 2: 16 yrs old in 2005 Cohort 2: 16 yrs old in 2005 Mapping progress from final year of school Mapping progress from final year of school Identifying objective progress and subjective assessments Identifying objective progress and subjective assessments Initiated by Peter Dwyer, funded since 1998 by the Australian Research Council. Initiated by Peter Dwyer, funded since 1998 by the Australian Research Council.

3 Post-1970 Generation in Australia First generation to enter mass higher education First generation to enter mass higher education Casualised labour market – precarious employment Casualised labour market – precarious employment Loose link between education and employment Loose link between education and employment Widening gap between high-skill and low-skill jobs (disappearing middle) Widening gap between high-skill and low-skill jobs (disappearing middle) Mental health Mental health 25% experiencing anxiety and depression 25% experiencing anxiety and depression Average age of marriage for women is 30 Average age of marriage for women is 30 Fertility rates are at an all-time low Fertility rates are at an all-time low

4 Education snapshot 14.5% of 15 – 19 year olds not in full-time education or work in % of 15 – 19 year olds not in full-time education or work in Decrease in school completion for young people from low socio-economic backgrounds Decrease in school completion for young people from low socio-economic backgrounds Increase in 20 – 24 year olds completing Year 12 or related certificate Increase in 20 – 24 year olds completing Year 12 or related certificate Longer timelines being forged Longer timelines being forged 25% of 20 – 24 year olds in full-time education 25% of 20 – 24 year olds in full-time education Increased participation in higher education Increased participation in higher education 63% of 17 year olds participated in education in % of 17 year olds participated in education in 2005

5 New life patterns Reflect the conditions of a post-industrial society: changed relationships with social institutions, including education changed relationships with social institutions, including education stage managers of their own biographies stage managers of their own biographies flexible skills, the capacity to make choices and a be proactive about job mobility flexible skills, the capacity to make choices and a be proactive about job mobility

6 The ‘new adulthood’ l valuing flexibility and mobility l personal autonomy, responsiveness l a balance of life commitments l new meanings of ‘career’ l the self as a ‘project’ Readily misunderstood as ‘faulty transitions’

7 Faulty transitions to adulthood? Extended transitions (Australia and UK) Extended transitions (Australia and UK) Post-adolescence (UK) Post-adolescence (UK) Arrested Adulthood (Canada) Arrested Adulthood (Canada) Generation on hold (Canada) Generation on hold (Canada) Over-age young adults (Netherlands) Over-age young adults (Netherlands) Developmentally underdone (Australia) Developmentally underdone (Australia) These all assume that there is something wrong with young people’s transition processes These all assume that there is something wrong with young people’s transition processes

8 Social and economic change Has presented both young and old with new challenges Flexibility is seen as more important than predictability as a basis for future security in a post-industrial world e.g. valuing horizontal mobility over vertical mobility Work is not rewarding enough

9 Gender, class & satisfaction with situation

10 It has been very difficult

11 School leavers in 2005 Attitudes to continuing studies by Year 11 students in 2005, Victorian and NSW (%) Want to continue my studies 52 I’d like to take time out 21 Unsure, but I feel it’s necessary 13 I’d leave school if I could get a job 3 Unsure, but my parents want me to 2

12 How well do education policies and programs fit with the realities of young people’s lives?

13 Educational approaches


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