Work experience in transition year: a mixed methods study of subject and career choices

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dc.contributor.advisor Hall, Kathy en
dc.contributor.author Moynihan, Joseph Anthony Gerard
dc.date.accessioned 2013-10-23T14:59:09Z
dc.date.available 2013-10-23T14:59:09Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.date.submitted 2013
dc.identifier.citation Moynihan, J. A. G. 2013. Work experience in transition year: a mixed methods study of subject and career choices. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 399
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1259
dc.description.abstract Transition Year (TY) has been a feature of the Irish Education landscape for 39 years. Work experience (WE) has become a key component of TY. WE is defined as a module of between five and fifteen days duration where students engage in a work placement in the broader community. It places a major emphasis on building relationships between schools and their external communities and concomitantly between students and their potential future employers. Yet, the idea that participation in a TY work experience programme could facilitate an increased awareness of potential careers has drawn little attention from the research community. This research examines the influence WE has on the subsequent subjects choices made by students along with the effects of that experience on the students’ identities and emerging vocational identities. Socio-cultural Learning Theory and Occupational Choice Theory frame the overall study. A mixed methods approach to data collection was adopted through the administration of 323 quantitative questionnaires and 32 individual semi-structured interviews in three secondary schools. The analysis of the data was conducted using a grounded theory approach. The findings from the research show that WE makes a significant contribution to the students’ sense of agency in their own lives. It facilitates the otherwise complex process of subject choice, motivates students to work harder in their senior cycle, introduces them to the concepts of active, experience-based and self-directed learning, while boosting their self-confidence and nurturing the emergence of their personal and vocational identities. This research is a gateway to further study in this field. It also has wide reaching implications for students, teachers, school authorities, parents and policy makers regarding teaching and learning in our schools and the value of learning beyond the walls of the classroom. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2013, Joseph Moynihan en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Identity en
dc.subject Work experience en
dc.subject Transition year en
dc.subject Vocational identity en
dc.subject Irish education system en
dc.subject.lcsh Education, Secondary--Ireland en
dc.subject.lcsh Vocational education--Ireland. en
dc.subject.lcsh Vocational guidance en
dc.title Work experience in transition year: a mixed methods study of subject and career choices en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral Degree (Structured) en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Education) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Education en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false *
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
ucc.workflow.supervisor k.hall@ucc.ie *
dc.internal.conferring Autumn Conferring 2013 en


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© 2013, Joseph Moynihan Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013, Joseph Moynihan
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