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'School is not for me': young people's perceptions of being a self-directed learner in a small rural Tasmanian town


Schmidt, MS and Ooi, CS and Shelley, B, 'School is not for me': young people's perceptions of being a self-directed learner in a small rural Tasmanian town, Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 5, (2) pp. 1-11. ISSN 2591-801X (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.37074/jalt.2022.5.2.4


The Education Act (2016) was introduced in Tasmania to address the state's high rates of early school leaving. Such legislative reforms may overlook informal factors that influence educational outcomes. In this paper we argue that a deeper understanding of the underlying drivers of retention and engagement in diverse social and cultural contexts is vital in supporting the Education Act. Drawing on qualitative data, this paper provides insights into how a group of Grade 10 students in a small rural town in Tasmania made the choice to leave school early or continue on to some form of post-compulsory education. Using Berger and Luckmann's theory of sociology of everyday life together with Bourdieu's (1990) concepts of social and cultural capital, this paper highlights how perceptions of being a self-directed learner and feelings about the future shaped the young people's educational decisions. It emphasises how a localised form of social and cultural capital was associated with feelings of failure and anxiety about future learning, whereas a broader form of social and cultural capital was linked with more optimistic perceptions of being a self-directed learner. The paper suggests that the career aspirations, including university study, of young people living in regional areas may be supported through familiarisation with larger regional towns and raising their awareness of post school options.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:education; regional areas; rural areas; young people; educational policy; responsibilisation
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education policy, sociology and philosophy
Research Field:Sociology of education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Schmidt, MS (Dr Merete Schmidt)
UTAS Author:Ooi, CS (Professor Can Seng Ooi)
UTAS Author:Shelley, B (Dr Becky Shelley)
ID Code:152691
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Sociology and Criminology
Deposited On:2022-08-23
Last Modified:2022-09-13

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