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Title: Excluded students' perceptions of their educational experience : a model for understanding.
Author: Pomeroy, Eva Nicole.
Awarding Body: University of Central England in Birmingham
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 1999
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This is a study of excluded students' perceptions of their educational experiences. The findings are based on the accounts of thirty-three predominantly working-class young men and women from different ethnic backgrounds, all of whom have been permanently excluded from school and are attending Behavioural Support Service Centres. Chapter One shows how debates on exclusion have failed to take into account the views of excluded students. This work is set within two bodies of literature, discussed in Chapter Two. The first is the sociological work into school culture and its influence on identity formation. Central to this discourse, as well as the present study, is the role of structure and that of agency in shaping the experience of school. The second area of literature that frames this work is the newly emerging research on youth perspectives in education. The key concern within this new area of research is how youth perspectives can be 'used' to generate theory and inform policy and practice. This study identifies and explores those aspects of the educational experience that are most salient to this group of young people, gaining insight into their understanding of their educational experience. The methodology employed to achieve this, discussed in Chapter Three, has been necessarily qualitative, aiming to access the meaning young people give to their experiences and to value this meaning as a legitimate form of knowledge. The focus is on the experience of school, using the young people's experience in alternative provision as a point of comparison. Chapters Four to Eight discuss these areas of meaning. Chapter Four considers the interviewees' understandings of their own behaviour and of their exclusion. This chapter provides insight into the interviewees' perceptions of the role they have played in constructing their experiences of school. Chapter Five explores the important influence of teacher-student relationships on individuals' experience of school. It looks at the ways in which teachers are perceived to exercise power that serve either to communicate 'caring' and 'valuing' or, more often, to infantilise young people. Chapter Six describes the antagonistic social atmosphere that exists amongst peers at school, and explores the different patterns of interactions the interviewees adopt within this environment. Chapter Seven examines factors outside of school that significantly intersect with and influence the school experience of some interviewees, such as family difficulty and relations with neighbourhood peers. Chapter Eight explores the interviewees' consistently positive view of school work in the Centres compared to that in mainstream school. It also examines differences in engagement levels between interviewees. On the basis of the interviewees' accounts, the School Experience Triangle Model is developed in Chapter Nine to provide a conceptual understanding of young people's varied experiences in school. The particular benefit of this model is its ability to explain changes in the experience over time. Central to the model is the notion of restrictive borders that are both externally-imposed and self-constructed. Through this concept, power relations in educational institutions, as perceived by the interviewees, are explored. The suggestion is made that the power relations in school serve to delegitimise the experiences, knowledge and skills of low-status youth. The implication for practice, discussed in Chapter Ten, is that power relations need to change in order to provide a more inclusive education system. One significant means for changing power relations in the school is to listen to the views of students and incorporate them into policy and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training Education Psychology