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Interview Questions – Students, Round 1 (2015)

Icebreaker – school now

  • How’s school going?
  • What do you like about school this year?
  • What words would you use to describe your school?
  • What do you think your school sees as important?
  • What sort of school would you like?

Relational mapping

  • Tell me me about your family
  • Who are you close to?
  • Do your parents ever talk about their school days?
  • What do you think are the differences between your parents’ childhoods and yours?

Retrospective & prospective

  • Can you tell me what have been some big or memorable things or important times in your life? [Participant-led plotting and discussion of their timeline)
  • Can you tell me something about yourself that other people might not know?
    • How do you think your friends would describe you to a stranger?
  • Where do you see yourself at the end of school?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? in 10 years?
  • Are you much interested in thinking about the future? What about your own future?
  • How do you think your own future will compare with your parents’ lives?
  • Do you notice or expect any difference in the kind of futures young men and women will have
  • What sort of family life do you imagine having in the future?

Political and social issues

  • Discussion of current political issues – with opening examples and prompts drawn from prominent debates at the time. In the first round of interviews, there was a focus on race politics and racism, gender politics, sexuality and sexism, and religion.

Racism and Australian society:

  • Prompts drawn from examples in the press and social media – eg Adam Goodes, an Aboriginal footballer, being boo-ed while playing; reactions to asylum seekers seeking to come to Australia.
  • What did you think of the reactions to this incident? What advice would you have given to (depending on example) Adam Goodes regarding his decision to stop playing?
  • Can you tell me whether you think racism is an issue in Australia; at this school? In your town/community: Why/why not?

Gender and sexuality:

  • Prominent issues at the time included media discussion of violence against women and children; transgender and LGBTQI issues, with stories from prominent people; ‘marriage equality’, which was not supported by the federal liberal government.
  • What advice would you give to the government about marriage equality?
  • What are your own views on marriage equality?
  • How do you think LGBTQI identities and issues are regarded at school (among your friends)?
  • Do you think much about marriage or your own relationships in the future?

Religion in school and society:

  • Is religion offered at your school? Do you think it should be taught at school?
  • If yes, what do you think should and should not be included in the curriculum? If no, why?
  • Do you think religion is an important part of Australian society? Is it or has it been important in your life?

Ethical outlook

  • Can you tell me about the social and political issues that are most important to you at the moment?
  • What do you think your school values?
  • What does a ‘good life’ look like for you?