An enquiry into the value of work experience as part of a career education programme for grade 11 pupils in a co-educational high school.
This study focused on the responses of the main role players in a Work Experience Programme which is offered as a component of Grade 11 Career Education at Hillcrest High School. The aim was to describe, evaluate and optimise the programme. The theory and literature on career development and work experience was reviewed in order to establish what programmes, methods and approaches are currently being used internationally and in South Africa. Issues related to work experience were explored with a view to evaluate whether the programme undertaken could enhance the career decision making of Grade 11 pupils. A qualitative, participatory research method was applied. The action research design chosen enabled the researcher to collect data over a period of eight months while interacting 'with her subjects as their teacher counsellor. The design, application, analysis of findings and limitations of the research study are described and recorded. The findings indicated that the programme was regarded as a positive experience by the majority of pupils. It was possible to make recommendations from the findings for wider application of such a programme.