SA Journal of Education, Vol 27, No 4 (2007)

School and work: connections made by South African and Australian primary school children

Mark Watson, Mary Mary McMahon


This exploratory-desc rip tive research focuses on whether children can connect school-based experiences to future jobs that interest them . A cross-national sample of 497 South African and 365 Australian upper primary school children participated in the study. The data from one item of the Revised Career Awareness Survey were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Differences between nation and gender were exam ined. The results revealed that the majority of children were able to m ake curricular, extra-curricular, or general school connections to future job s th at interested them . Males made fewer curricular and general school connections and m ore connections to extra-curricular activities than fem ales. The im plications of the findings for career education in primary schools and for future research are discussed.

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