Re-Engaging Young People with Education: the Steps after Disengagement and Exclusion

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book presents an ethnographic study carried out by the author in a youth centre based on a secondary school site. The social and cultural worlds of fourteen students attending an alternative curriculum programme are explored in response to issues they encounter as they complete a GCSE teamwork assessment. They cannot conceptualise the curricula concept of teamwork as a sequence of related tasks and individual roles. Rather teamwork is understood as managing relationships in order to complete an activity. Subsequently two of the students and eight junior youth leaders are co-opted as researchers to video record the groups’ and 300 peers’ social practices across youth centre sessions. Findings are analysed and six behaviour categories identified. Drawing on Bernstein (1971) thematic analysis of language codes in each category locates language in the production of a collaboratively produced self-narrative rather than curricula language codes. Subsequent interventions relocate subject knowledge production into relationship building activities enabling students to become bi-lingual and translate their understanding of teamwork into assessment language. The author claims student identity is an holistic individual project where knowledge is collaboratively produced within the conditions for the production of the self-narrative. The intervention extends to the family home, the genesis of the students’ self-narratives where the author becomes co-educator within these relational processes. He subsequently calls for the role of educators to be reconsidered endorsing holistic relational pedagogies based on models of knowledge production rooted in social practices rather than individual cognitive performance.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages325
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-98201-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-98200-7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2018


  • Young people
  • Education
  • Exclusion
  • Re-engagement
  • Pedagogy
  • Relationships


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