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Growing to know :three case studies of minority ethnic boys' constructions of success

Evans, Patrice S. (2011) Growing to know :three case studies of minority ethnic boys' constructions of success. EdD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

This is a study of pupils' views of success. The views presented are primarily those of three minority ethnic boys, one of Pakistani, the second of Black African and the third of Black Caribbean heritage. It is an exploration of some of the competing discourses they experience within a boys' secondary school. Through their discourse and that of their teachers, peers and parents we find out what they believe is success and what shapes it. The most dominant version of success adopted by schools is performance related - linked primarily to achievement. The 1980s saw the rise of neoliberalism with its influence on education policy which assiduously defined achievement as 'exam credentials' (Archer and Francis 2007: 18). At secondary level, these credentials are a school's ability to meet its targets, which is measured by the number of A* - C grades. Through the use of layered case studies, this research has found that there are intersecting yet divergent interpretations of success. Pupils and teachers adopt the normative view of success however the manner in which this is implemented, demonstrates a range of power relations at play within school. This research has identified that, among other constructs, pupils view success as relational. These relationships are multifaceted, involving peers, family and teachers. Peers are needed for support, for example against the effect of stereotyping. Peer relationships inspire competition and are hierarchical as self worth is affirmed by locating one's position within the hierarchy and winning first place in tests. Parents or siblings assist by identifying strengths, urging and monitoring progress and, following negotiation, supporting the pursuit of their dreams. Findings suggest that, regardless of definition, we as educators need to continue to 'grow to know' the needs of individual pupils or groups of learners if we truly want to help them succeed in school.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (EdD) University of London Institute of Education, 2011.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2014 10:56
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 11:02
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