The course experience of Year 12 students

Year: 1994

Author: Long, Michael, Robinson, Lyn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Youth in Transition is a longitudinal study of four cohorts of Australian young people. The youngest sample was established in 1989 when some 5,600 14-year-olds were contacted in their schools. Contact has been maintained annually since that time. In 1992 the majority of the members of this sample were in Year 12. The questionnaire completed by respondents at the end of 1992 included 20 items which asked about their experiences of Year 12. For example, respondents were asked to indicate the frequency with which the following statements were true: (a) The aims and objectives of the course were not made very clear. (2) Teachers were extremely good at explaining things to us. (3) We were generally given enough time to understand the things we were learning.

The distribution of responses to particular items (and the distribution of scores for scales formed from these items) are of interest from at least two perspectives. First, to the extent that student responses differ between States and subject areas, there are implications for curriculum and course structure in senior secondary education. Second, to the extent that course experiences vary across categories of personal, educational and family background, there may be implications for the equity of secondary education. This paper will explore these issues.