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Excluded from the Game: A Case Study of Transitions for non-Tertiary-Bound Students in a Queensland Private School

Abstract

This chapter presents a case study of post-school transition arrangements as revealed through interviews with teachers, parents and students at Southside College, a coeducational private school in Brisbane, southeast Queensland. This chapter begins by outlining the policy context relating to the management of transitions for young people in Queensland. It then places the case study in context by reviewing the role played by selective schooling in helping middle-class families secure competitive advantage in the academic curriculum in Australia and hence, desirable transition pathways leading to university. This chapter then draws on interview data from administrators, teachers and students to overview arrangements implemented at Southside to support students’ transitions. It shows how the range of transition options available to students was influenced by the views of key administrators about what constituted ‘appropriate’ transition pathways for students at the school. This chapter uses membership categorisation analysis to demonstrate how the privileging of traditional academic pathways over vocational education and training was articulated as part of the school’s moral order by administrators who associated those pathways with distinct categories of students undertaking them. This chapter concludes that the school’s focus on traditional pathways supported successful transitions for a majority of its students; however, these arrangements worked as a constraint for a number of non-tertiary-bound students attempting to engage their preferred transition pathway. For these young people, the experience was one of being ‘stuck in school’ but excluded from the advantages and social protection that selective schooling is thought to afford.

Keywords

  • Vocational Pathway
  • Career Guidance
  • Career Counsellor
  • Subject Selection
  • Transition Pathway

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgements

The research reported in this chapter was undertaken as part of the Australian Research Council Discovery Project “Towards a transformative model: re-shaping transitions between school and post-school life” (2008–2010). The authors also acknowledge the contributions of the members of the Southside College community and the support of their research colleagues in the project.

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Correspondence to Stephen Hay .

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Hay, S., Sim, C. (2012). Excluded from the Game: A Case Study of Transitions for non-Tertiary-Bound Students in a Queensland Private School. In: Billett, S., Johnson, G., Thomas, S., Sim, C., Hay, S., Ryan, J. (eds) Experience of School Transitions. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4198-0_10

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