Choosing Futures: Young People's Decision-Making in Education, Training, and Careers Markets

Choosing Futures: Young People's Decision-Making in Education, Training, and Careers Markets

Choosing Futures: Young People's Decision-Making in Education, Training, and Careers Markets

Choosing Futures: Young People's Decision-Making in Education, Training, and Careers Markets

Synopsis

Education is becoming more competitive - choice in education is now a key issue. This book will help parents, schools, colleges, universities and policy makers understand how education and training markets work. Choosing Futures offers a wide ranging perspective on how young people, and their parents, make choices as they travel through a lifetime of education and training. The authors challenge traditional views of how choices are made of primary school, secondary school, college, university and career, which assume that choices are rational and objective. Instead this book reveals how choices depend upon a range of factors: *young people's personal experiences *individual and family histories *perceptions of education and careers. The book compares choice for 5 to 11 year olds, and for 16 and 18 year olds; drawing out models of the decision making process, and at the same time the consequences on schools, colleges and individuals of 'enhanced choice'.

Excerpt

This book is about young people's lives and their experiences in moving from the dependency of childhood to the independence of being a young adult. Much of the first two decades of life are focused on preparation for entering the adult world, with an emphasis on acquiring the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that will enable each individual to enhance their chances of personal success. For many it is not an easy pathway to follow, as the challenges of developing a sense of personal identity and self-esteem, and of finding a place in the adult world, can be strongly dissonant experiences. One of our purposes in writing this book is to try and make sense of the decisions and choices young people and their parents must make, for in better understanding these processes we hope to be able to lay the foundations of improved support and guidance.

The book draws on two major sources of ideas. First, it tries to synthesise the evidence from the research of many individuals and groups to draw out key principles relating to choice and decision-making. The literature on choice, particularly school choice, has grown rapidly during the 1990s, and there is now a sound theoretical and evidence-based foundation for our understanding of many choice processes. Second, we draw strongly on our own research, developed through a number of local, regional and national research projects that we have undertaken through the Centre for Research in Education Marketing (CREM), based in the Research and Graduate School of Education at the University of Southampton. This has enabled us to develop a range of new perspectives in fields where there is already a significant array of research - and also to undertake some important ground-breaking work in specific aspects of choice. We believe that the synergy between our own research and that of others has enabled us to move forward some key conceptualisations and understanding in young people's

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