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Need to Get Somewhere Fast

A Critical Examination of the Transition From Post-Secondary Education to Work

Need to Get Somewhere Fast critically explores the transition from post-secondary education to work - it seeks to complexify the dominant view of the transition from post-secondary education to work as a linear, distinct event that can be assessed through primarily financial indicators.  Complexifying our understanding of transition, as critical scholars/educators and critical practitioners, allows us to move beyond deficit-focused interventions and offers a more comprehensive understanding of how factors beyond the individual student constitute and constrain the transition experience.  With a more complex understanding of transition, post-secondary educators, students, employers, and researchers can consider the pressures on students to “get somewhere fast” and support transition processes that involve complex and interrelated factors.  

Need to Get Somewhere Fast is grounded in the narratives of social service workers.  Social service workers, practitioners who work with marginalized people in community-based, not-for-profit agencies, are a liminal group who face significant challenges, including tenuous work, vicarious trauma, and precarity.  Their narratives of navigating the neoliberal institutions of school and work highlight power relations, idealized expectations, and the experience of transition as an ongoing process.  Their narratives illustrate the importance of resistance, criticality, and exploring alternate discourses of what it means to successfully transition into a professional role. Need to Get Somewhere Fast puts more-than-human, relational, and performative ontologies to work to see what is possible, from a practical, ethical perspective, for educators and educational institutions.          

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Meaghan Dougherty, EdD, is faculty at Douglas College in the Department of Child and Youth Care. Her research interests include educational leadership, the complex relationship between education and the labour market, relational practice, imagination, criticality, and teaching and learning encounters.