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Title: Exploring influences on post-16 choices and destinations of young people in a disadvantaged urban area : a life history approach
Author: Slack, Kim
ISNI:       0000 0001 2421 7472
Awarding Body: Staffordshire University
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis examines the educational decision-making of young people living in a deprived urban area who share similar backgrounds whilst opting to follow different post-16 pathways. This is set within a widening participation policy context that focuses on encouraging young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds to continue with formal learning beyond compulsory schooling. This thesis provides a contextualised account of decision-making which draws upon a multi-disciplinary framework. It has used a self-efficacy lens to explore the relationship between structure and agency in the context of young people's educational decision- making. The findings indicate that the decisions participants made about their post-16 pathways were influenced by the relationship between their communities of practice, disposition towards learning and self-efficacy. It also points to the complexity of this relationship in terms of the way in which this was influenced by their particular life experiences. Variation in this experience was evident at an individual level through differences in parental upbringing, and at an institutional level, through differences in schooling. In relation to the widening participation policy agenda, the findings Indicate a number of factors which are significant in developing an orientation towards higher education. This research contributes to a clearer understanding of the interaction between these factors, the way in which this influences the nature of the relationship between an individual's community of practice, approach to learning and self-efficacy and the effect of this on educational decision-making. It adds to the sum of knowledge available for work within the field of widening participation by providing an in-depth account of decision-making that offers a fuller explanation of variation in behaviour among young people from similar backgrounds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available