Youth, Education and Risk: Facing the Future

Youth, Education and Risk: Facing the Future

Youth, Education and Risk: Facing the Future

Youth, Education and Risk: Facing the Future

Synopsis

Youth, Education and Risk: Facing the Future provides a provocative and valuable insight into how the dramatic social and economic changes of the last twenty years have affected the lives of Western youth. Covering young people's attitudes towards relationships and health, the authors provide a comprehensive perspective on young people in Western society in the 1990s. The book reviews ten years of research, policy and practice as related to the 15-25 age group and compares data from the UK, Australia, the USA and Canada. It also argues for the need to develop new research and policy frameworks that are more in tune with the changed conditions of life for Western youth. The book sets out the conceptual basis for a new approach to youth and the practical implications for research, education and youth policy in the new millenium.

Excerpt

Most of the established studies on young people in Western societies have been devoted to an understanding of their transition within their families and schools towards adulthood and their working lives. Attention has also been given in some of the writing to the specific problems that young people confront (or create) as they go through different stages in their transition. More recent research in Europe, North America, the UK and Australia indicates a growing mismatch between the established models of transition and the actual attitudes, choices and experience of young people themselves. The significant social and economic changes that have taken place since the early 1970s in all of these countries have introduced elements of uncertainty, unpredictability and risk into the lives of this new generation, which their parents and others from previous generations often find difficult to explain or understand. The purpose of this book is to draw together the threads of this more recent research with particular emphasis on its implications for educational policy and practice.

Our experience with teachers, students and their parents in a variety of countries indicates that the increasing importance being placed on extended education participation has raised many problems for them. In particular, the strong emphasis being placed on post-compulsory education as an essential precondition for adult lives and careers has increased the pressures and expectations of 'growing up'. An understanding of how students themselves are responding to and reading those pressures is therefore an important concern for teacher training and practice. At the same time, young people are much more than students - for many of them the other aspects of their lives are even more important - and so our ability to bridge the gap between policy and practice in education depends on our readiness to take those other priorities and interests seriously. In this book, therefore, we do this by looking back over a variety of international studies as well

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