AbstractDespite a plethora of proposals and counter-proposals, the framework of the A level system has remained largely unchanged for forty years. This study reviews the historical context of sixth form education and provides an insight into students' perceptions of A level courses in the late 1980s. It also examines the reasons behind students' choices of subjects for study at A level and students' subsequent satisfaction with their chosen courses. The variables which most strongly influenced students' choice of subjects for study were the subject's perceived interest value, previous success in the subject and its compatibility with other subjects chosen. Also important, in some subject areas, was the perceived career value of a subject and its necessity for higher education. The students began their A level courses with very positive perceptions. The overwhelming majority view was of students' confidence in their ability to cope and high expectation of their courses. Unfortunately this initial positivism was not sustained. As students progressed through the course an increasing proportion reported that A level work was boring and became more sceptical about the utility of A levels. This growing disillusionment was probably partly responsible for some of the dissatisfaction evident in this study, gauged partly in terms of drop-out rates. It is concluded that A levels in their present form do not seem to be meeting the needs of a proportion of those who are studying them.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Council for National Academic Awards for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/