Attitudes to Transition Year: a report to the Department of Education and Science
Jeffers, Gerry (2007) Attitudes to Transition Year: a report to the Department of Education and Science. Education Department, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
Mainstreaming Transition Year (TY) in 1994,20 years after it was first introduced into Irish schools, marked the third stage in the programme's development. Uptake increased dramatically and in the 2006-07 school year, 27,090 young people in 543 schools are enrolled as TY students. TY offers students 'a broad educational experience with a view to the attainment of increased maturity' (DOE, 1993c, p.3). Schools are given extensive fieedom to devise programmes that promote personal, social, intellectual and vocational development. The Transition Year Programme, Guidelines for Schools (DOE, 1993c) lays particular emphasis on developing social awareness, increasing social competence, promoting self-directed learning and learning through experience of adult and working life. This research was commissioned by the Department of Education and Science (DES). The brief was to focus on a small number of schools where TY 'is well regarded', eliciting attitudes to this curricular innovation from students, parents and teachers. Adopting a case study approach and using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data-gathering techniques, the research centred on TY in six different schools. Having outlined the programme's origins and development since 1974 and explained the methodology used, the report presents separate chapters on students' attitudes to TY, teachers' perspectives and parents' points of view. These are followed by profiles of the six schools, a distillation of the main findings and a discussion chapter.
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