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What do you want to be when you grow up?

Join Dr Sally Patfield in a discussion about how what we say and do can shape students’ future career and educational aspirations. In this one-hour webinar we will delve into a decade-long research program investigating the aspirations of more than 4,500 Australian school students. We will look at why aspirations are important, explore trends in aspirations, break down key factors that influence them, and illuminate important insights about the aspirations of key equity groups including first-in-family students, Indigenous Australians, and students from rural and remote locations.

Webinar information

At some point in our lives, we’ve all been asked the question: what do you want to be when you grow up? As teachers, we’ve probably also asked this question of many students. Choosing a post-school career and educational pathway is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives – yet this decision is rarely easy or straightforward.

In light of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial, now more than ever, to adequately prepare young people to successfully navigate the complex educational and employment landscape that lays before them.

Drawing on survey and interview data from more than 15,000 students, parents/carers, and teachers across NSW, this webinar will unpack some of the complexity behind the concept of ‘aspiration’ – often seen as a buzzword in policy – and examine how young people imagine and articulate their post-school lives, paying particular attention to the complex array of factors the shape what young people see as possible or desirable.

Through engaging in this webinar, participants will build a conceptual understanding of aspiration formation and gain insights into how to embed contemporary career development into everyday practice.


This webinar can be recorded in NESA eTams as Elective PD for 60 minutes.

Further information regarding NESA’s maintenance of accreditation transition arrangements can be found here; https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/teacher-accreditation/meeting-requirements/maintaining-accreditation/maintenance-transition-arrangements

Online via Zoom
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