The Intersection of Adolescents’ Interests and National Needs – Implications for Educators
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Research Conference (13th : 2008 : Brisbane)
Interest as much as ability is a major factor in educational achievement and continues to play a substantial role in work adjustment throughout the life span. This presentation examines the role of interest in learning and career development. Career interest results (N = 7477) were obtained from the Career Interest Test (Version 3.1) administered on the Federal government’s www.myfuture.edu. au website and were then compared with the nature and structure of employment in Australia. Work-related interests were fairly evenly spread across Outdoor, Practical, Scientific, Creative, Business, Office and People Contact activities. If anything, Business was marginally the highest preference followed by People Contact and then Creative interests. In contrast, the highest areas of employment in Australia were for Business and Practical activities (48.6%). Furthermore, Mathematics courses (20.1%) and Science (17.1%) dominated senior secondary school enrolments. It is clear that the interests and preferences of Australians are not satisfied either by the curriculum offered to them or the work opportunities in modern Australia. This presentation examines the role of interest in learning and career development. It is based on the view that one’s interest is a major factor in educational achievement. Moreover, interest continues to play a substantial role in career throughout the life span. Interest is related to work adjustment and is a key feature of job satisfaction for many individuals. Most people would be prepared to acknowledge that interest is important for learning and working, yet they may not have a clear understanding of the extent of that influence or the extent to which it is able to be expressed.