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DeGiovanni, Katya S. (2012)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects:
Further Education (FE) is almost a new venture on the Maltese Islands particularly for UK NVQ Levels 1 and 2. In 2001 the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST)introduced the Foundation Certificate: A Further Education (FE) access course without entry requirements. Drawing mainly on the study by Ball, Maguire and Macrae (2000), Bourdieu’s habitus and structure (1977; 1990; 1993) as well as Evans’ bounded agency (2002; 2007) and Evans and Heinz’s (1993: 1994) transition types, this thesis explores the transitory experience of eight female students from Compulsory to Further Education. Between 2007 and 2010 these students narrated their experiences prior to entry at MCAST, as students on the MCAST campus, during their work placements as well as on their workplace. Findings indicate that FE and work were chosen by elimination of the academic path even though it seems that school did not prepare the participants for these routes. The MCASTBTEC formative assessment system was deemed harder to get used to but fairer than the exam-based system. At MCAST students felt free to make their own choices and were treated as adults. Work placement experience for students seems to influence course choice. Full-time workers ex-students) indicated that they were given a lot of training, and that work was an alternative learning environment. This was important to retain their job and to further their studies. This thesis identifies three transition trajectories as well as a model for understanding the self in transition to FE within the Maltese context by identifying theories which are adaptable to this particular scenario. It also provides key learnings for policy makers and practitioners within the Maltese educational context. These include the exposure of students to MCAST, in-service training for subject and guidance teachers at service in secondary schools and guidelines for standardized induction as well as monitoring programmes aimed at increasing student retention. These strategies would ease the transition period making both MCAST and secondary schools more inclusive learning environments.

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