Linking Diverse Datasets to Inform Career Development Learning for Students from Low SES Backgrounds

Jane Coffey, Siobhan Unwin, Sherry Bawa, Dawn Bennett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognise that sustainable development begins with education and that inclusive and sustainable economic growth is crucial to providing people with productive employment and decent work. This study focussed on SDG4, which is “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all” (United Nations. (2021). Specifically, the study investigated the critical need to understand and improve low SES school students’ access to information about higher-education study options, pathways, and careers. The study was grounded in social cognitive career theory and featured three interrelated inquiries, which employed quantitative data analysis and qualitative, participatory design frameworks. The study linked student-derived and institutional data, as well as conducted focus groups with career practitioners and secondary school students. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the engagement of secondary school and university students necessitated an unexpected methodological shift. The result was an innovative approach which enabled students to become active partners in the research, providing a valuable generative and dialogic lens. A range of network approaches, online forums and applications, and non-traditional work and research spaces, resulted in a richness and diversity of interactions that would not otherwise have occurred.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCareer Development Learning and Sustainability Goals: Considerations for Research and Practice
EditorsSarah O'Shea, Olivia Groves, Kylie Austin, Jodi Lamanna
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-19-6637-8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameSustainable Development Goals Series
ISSN (Print)2523-3084
ISSN (Electronic)2523-3092


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