Mediated disaffection and reconfigured subjectivities: The impact of a vocational learning environment on the re-engagement of 14–16-year-olds

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Abstract

In England, one in three 11–16-year-olds is said to illustrate poor behaviour (Sodha and Guglielmi, 2009), while students at key stage 4 (14-16) who are not engaged in education are often identified as, or at risk of becoming, disaffected (McKendrick et al., 2007). This paper explores the impact of a vocational learning environment on disaffected 14–16-year-old girls’ cognition. Through a series of semi-structured interviews, data are obtained in relation to the cognitive processes that motivate attitude to learning and engagement with a learning environment. Of particular relevance is the impact on: reflection, self-awareness, subjectivity and metacognitive functioning. Disaffected female students are seen to develop greater self-insight and objectivity as a result of their engagement in an alternative learning environment. It is thus argued that disaffection with learning may be reduced through a temporary removal from the problematic environment (school), although this can perpetuate poor perceptions of schooling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-65
JournalInternational Journal on School Disaffection
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date1 Nov 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2015

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