'To educate you to be smart': disaffected students and the purpose of school in the (not so clever) ‘lucky country’

Linda J. Graham*, Penny Van Bergen, Naomi Sweller

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper contributes to conversations about school, post-compulsory and further education policy by reporting findings from a three-year study with disaffected students who have been referred to special ‘behaviour’ schools. Contrary to popular opinion, our research finds that these ‘ignorant yobs’ do value education and know what it is for. They also have aspirations for a secure, productive and fulfilled life, although it may not involve university-level study. Importantly, we found that students who responded negatively with regard to the importance of schooling tended to envision future lives and occupations for which they believed school knowledge was unnecessary. The implications of this research for school, post-compulsory and further education policy are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-257
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Education Policy
    Volume30
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2015

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