Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Bunbury, Western Australia


Faculty of Regional Professional Studies


Centre for Sustainable Regional Futures


A project sponsored by the Association of Independent Schools (WA) and Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Regional Professional Studies


Oliver, R., Watts, L., Strikwerda-Brown, J., Hodgson, D., & Palmer, M. (2007). Perceptions and needs of rural young people in the South-West of Western Australia: Implications for pedagogy. Edith Cowan University.


The original purpose of this study was to investigate youth needs, specifically in the south western region (the 'South West') of Western Australia, and then to explore how these needs might be addressed in terms of current curriculum and teaching practices. The following research questions guided our investigation:

- What are the educational and occupational aspirations of young people from the South West of Western Australia?

- What do young people identify as influences on their educational and occupational aspirations and attainment?

As the data collection progressed, it was evident to all those involved that, whilst there were expressed needs, many of the young people we interviewed were quite happy with their lives and their lifestyle, despite having varied views of their school experiences (curriculum and teachers), some positive and some negative. The students were able to offer some very thoughtful and clear descriptions of what sorts of things work for them at school, what does not work, and what needs to happen to make school meaningful and relevant to their lives and needs. The title of this report reflects this finding -describing the perceptions as well as the needs of this age group.

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