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Title: The impossible dreams of an invisible cohort : a case study exploring the hopes, aspirations and learning identities of three groups of level 1 students in two English general further education colleges
Author: Atkins, Elizabeth Jane
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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This study explores the aspirations and learning Identities of three groups of Level 1 students In the English Further Education (FE) system. This group have historically been neglected in terms of academic study and research, but despite this have been heavily problematised as'disengaged' or "disaffected' and are regarded as being of low value within both the education system and wider society where value and status are associated predominantly with academic credentials and their associated economic capacity. As part of an attempt to address this issue of low value, the study was conducted within a social justice theoretical framework using a case study approach which was developed over time to facilitate an inclusive research methodology which demonstrated value and respect for the student participants. A range of methods was used, including group interviews, classroom observation and the collection of 'incidental' data such as coursework contributed by students. The study found that despite expressing a verbal 'buy in'to learning, for these students learning identities formed only a small, and often relatively unimportant, part of overall identity formation. Their aspirations were high but, constrained by societal structures, and unaware of the educational pathways and credentials necessary to achieve their occupational ambitions most used their agency to develop identities and acquire economic capital outside the field of education. It concludes that these are key factors in the fact that most of these young people drift into low skill, low paid employment, maintaining a status quo in terms of social class structures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available