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Family and community factors encouraging study persistence among Tasmanial rural high school students : an exploration of social capital

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Baynes, HJ (2009) Family and community factors encouraging study persistence among Tasmanial rural high school students : an exploration of social capital. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates family and community factors encouraging Tasmanian rural high school students to continue with post- compulsory (or post-Year 10) education and training at urban senior secondary colleges. The research is based on a purposive and positive sample of 24 students who had successfully completed Year 11 studies and intended completing Year 12 then proceeding to post-Year 12 education and training. They had previously attended rural high schools that had a) a good record of retention to Year 11 in urban senior secondary colleges, b) student achievement levels comparable to urban schools and c) good community links.

Students' experiences of the initial three years of post-compulsory education and training were explored in interviews conducted in 2003 during Year 12, and approximately one year later. A further perspective on students' experiences was drawn from 55 interviews conducted later in 2003 with people students nominated as important in encouraging them. Thematic analysis revealed three student participation profiles — a straightforward and successful experience, a problematic but successful experience and a limited experience.

The concept of social capital provided a means of accounting for and integrating the range of family and community factors that influenced development and realisation of the students' post-compulsory education and training aspirations. It was useful in understanding students' post-compulsory education and training careers, particularly in terms of their awareness of, willingness to use, and use of available family and community resources and in explaining the benefits of students' personal networks. The concept was most useful in understanding development of post-compulsory education and training aspirations of students expected to participate at that level, of students exposed to family regret over non-participation, and the realisation or nonrealisation of students' aspirations. The concept was less helpful in understanding the post-compulsory education and training careers of a minority of the students who were highly intrinsically-motivated and self-reliant, had been less influenced by family and community when developing and realising their aspirations, and had grown up in families where post-compulsory education and training was not valued above other activities in which students may engage after completing school.

The significance of the research lies in its investigation of continuing rural underrepresentation in post-compulsory education and training from the student perspective. The thesis explores the application of different Concepts of social capital found in the literature. Using a social constructivist approach, and ethnographic and phenomenological methods, several indicators of social capital in rural students' family and community networks are examined to assess their usefulness in understanding rural students' post-compulsory education and training careers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Post-compulsory education, Education, Rural, Rural youth, Continuing education, College students, Social capital (Sociology)
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2009 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 00:57
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2017 23:19
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