South African Journal of Education

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

M Watson, M McMahon


This exploratory-descriptive 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 examined. The results revealed
that the majority of children were able to make curricular, extra-curricular, or
general school connections to future jobs that interested them. Males made
fewer curricular and general school connections and more connections to extracurricular
activities than females. The implications of the findings for career education
in primary schools and for future research are discussed.

Keywords: career development; career education; career programmes; children; primary school

South African Journal of Education Vol. 27 (4) 2007: pp. 565-578

AJOL African Journals Online