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Title: Consuming school : a study of Year Eight pupils' influences, desires and ambitions for the future and the way in which these relate to their school experiences
Author: Sutton, Rosalind
ISNI:       0000 0001 3492 4218
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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This case study investigates the attitudes of a mixed sample of twenty Year Eight pupils taken from two schools towards the influences they perceive at work in their lives and how these affect their ambitions for the future. It has employed predominantly qualitative research methods and has adopted an inductive approach to analysing the data from both questionnaires and interviews in order to interrogate how the pupils' experiences of school were utilised and how these experiences were perceived to be of use in constructing pathways towards potential ambitions. The pupils' attitudes have been considered in the light of active and passive consumption debates as these relate to Bourdieu's theory of habitus and de Certeau's theory of tactics. The findings from the sample in this research indicate a fairly broad spectrum of attitudes, with ambitions amongst the boys seeming to be more prone to the influence of habitus than amongst the girls at this stage. There was evidence also of fairly unpredictable and unexpected consumption practices to satisfy personal desires. However, while school was enjoyed on the whole, there were few indications of a clear conceptual connection in the minds of the pupils between specific curriculum subject learning and particular ambitions, although generic skills, such as literacy and social skills, such as 'making friends' were considered useful for the future. If the findings from this research are not exceptional, then there is a danger that many young teenagers may not perceive as relevant much of what they learn in school from day-to-day and may consequently become demotivated and disengage from the process. It may be advisable to create greater transparency as to the use and value of curricular content at the point of delivery in the classroom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available