Exploring the social mobility of Adelaide’s metalcore ‘scene kids’
by Paula Rowe
As young people continue to confront transition issues such as school-to-work pathways, they are concomitantly developing their own social and cultural priorities and responding to them in new and innovative ways. This process warrants a greater focus on young people’s identity work as they navigate their transitions through increasingly fluid social and cultural environments. Drawing on her current PhD research, Paula Rowe focuses attention on Adelaide’s ‘scene kids’, a community of interest based on a subgenre of heavy metal music. She utlises Bauman’s (2000) liquid modernity thesis to parallel the social dynamics of ‘liquid’ metal subgenres with those of the ‘liquid’ modern world. Exploring the social processes of scene kids highlights ways in which socioeconomic circumstances can affect young people’s level of engagement with lifestyle options. This in turn raises questions as to how “scene kid identities” might impact on other life pursuits and social transitions.
A case for the professionalisation of youth work
by Michael Emslie
Michael Emslie argues that the time is right for youth work in Australia to be professionalised in line with other human service practices such as nursing, education and psychology. He identifies a groundswell of activities that support the professionalisation of youth work and a concurrent growth in high-level interest in strengthening social and community services. He argues that this context presents an opportune time to professionalise youth work. Emslie provides reasons why it is imperative to regulate and monitor the youth sector as a profession, and explains how professionalisation will help address the critical shortage of qualified youth practitioners and also improve the quality of service young people receive.
A social and academic transition strategy to enhance the first-year experience of youth studies students
by Sarah Baker
An innovative icebreaker initiative – ‘classroom karaoke’ – was deployed at the beginning of a first-year undergraduate course in youth studies at an Australian university. The study used karaoke as a social and academic transition strategy to enhance students’ first-year experience at university. Students responded positively to this lecture-based social integration tool and reported that it made the learning environment less threatening, reduced anxiety and encouraged student interaction.
Using text messaging to support student transition to university study
by Jayde Cahir, Elaine Huber, Boris Handal, Justin Dutch & Mark Nixon
Students are most likely to drop out of university when first attending. This article analyses the use of technology in supporting the transition process of ‘first time’ university students enrolled in a second-year accounting course. Study-MATE, a study skills program utilising the university’s learning management system (LMS) – Blackboard, Google Calendar and text messaging – was introduced at the beginning of first semester. At the end of the semester, 77 students completed an online evaluation form. The research results reveal that 60% of these students thought the program had raised their awareness of the university’s study skills services, but only 33% found this program helped improve their study skills. Overall, the research results highlight several challenges and necessary considerations in the implementation of study skills programs.
Secondary school students’ understanding of landscapes and natural resource management
by Tarnya Kruger & Ruth Beilin
In 2007, a study titled ‘Living in the landscapes of the 21st century’ was conducted in 11 high schools in metropolitan and rural Victoria. The research team investigated Year 10 students’ conceptions of landscapes in order to explore their understandings of natural resource management (NRM), including agriculture, food, land and water management. The aim of the project was to consider how students’ career and future aspirations connected with their understandings of landscape futures. There was no discernible difference in the results for metropolitan and rural students with the majority of students expressing a generalised concern for the environment; however, this concern did not translate into career insights associated with NRM. The researchers concluded that there is a need for a stronger emphasis on NRM education as it relates to essential life-sustaining services for all citizens. In addition, it is suggested that university recruitment strategies utilise word selection/description and visual imagery associated with landscapes in order to engage future managers of our natural resources.
Youth mental health and substance use in rural and remote Australia and the potential role of school-based interventions
by Judith Crockett
At least 20% of young people aged between 14 and 25 years who live in inland Australia experience a mental health or substance use problem at any given point in time. Many of these young people experience significant geographic, economic and sociocultural barriers to obtaining youth-friendly health advice and care, particularly in relation to key issues of mental health and drug and alcohol use. Only a small percentage ever receives care from health professionals. The use of schools to provide mental health and substance use education and care is explored as a possible means of overcoming these barriers and better addressing the needs of youth in rural and remote locations.
The Deputy-Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition was in Canberra for the release of the Government's budget. He reports on the issues that will affect young Australians. Original article
David Kalisch, Director and CEO, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, talks about the importance of making data publicly available in order for government and service delivery organisations to be more effective. Original article