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Title: How girls 'do' education : achievement, choices and hopes for the future
Author: Bowers-Brown, Tamsin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 3127
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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This research focuses on girls within one comprehensive school. My research explores, through predominantly qualitative methods, both staff and pupil perspectives on girls' achievement, choice making and hopes for the future. My interpretation of the data is influenced by Bourdieusian concepts (Bourdieu:1977, 1984, 2000), operationalising the ideas of habitus, field and the forms of capital. My analysis is also indebted to a Foucauldian approach to deconstructing the taken for granted discourses that permeate and perpetuate educational practices. The key findings indicate that the institutional habitus of the school places value on success in academic subjects and associated progression to higher education. Some pupils felt that the emphasis on progression to university left other options under-valued and under-discussed. There was a significant emphasis on pupils' target grades and achievement which stemmed from the Ofsted requirement for pupils to achieve 3 levels of progress (DCSF, 2009). Pupils felt anxious about achieving their grades but accepted the process of target-setting as enabling them to achieve. The achievement processes within the school demonstrated high levels of surveillance and monitoring at an individual level. Pupils demonstrated their complicity with the processes through what could be viewed as their academic or scholarly habituses or as Foucault (1977) would argue, their 'docile bodies'. The decision-making process was complex and involved the influence of a number of parties. There was particular emphasis on the influence of pupils' mothers in providing advice which reinforced social reproduction that in part was linked with social capital networks. Teachers felt that there could be a greater level of involvement from parents but ultimately it should be the pupils who decided which options they would take and the route that they should pursue post-16.
Supervisor: Davies, Julia ; Wellington, Jerry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available