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Consuming school : a study of Year Eight pupils' influences, desires and ambitions for the future and the way in which these relate to their school experiences

Sutton, Rosalind (2007) Consuming school : a study of Year Eight pupils' influences, desires and ambitions for the future and the way in which these relate to their school experiences. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This case study investigates the attitudes of a mixed sample of twenty Year Eight pupils taken from two schools towards the influences they perceive at work in their lives and how these affect their ambitions for the future. It has employed predominantly qualitative research methods and has adopted an inductive approach to analysing the data from both questionnaires and interviews in order to interrogate how the pupils' experiences of school were utilised and how these experiences were perceived to be of use in constructing pathways towards potential ambitions. The pupils' attitudes have been considered in the light of active and passive consumption debates as these relate to Bourdieu's theory of habitus and de Certeau's theory of tactics. The findings from the sample in this research indicate a fairly broad spectrum of attitudes, with ambitions amongst the boys seeming to be more prone to the influence of habitus than amongst the girls at this stage. There was evidence also of fairly unpredictable and unexpected consumption practices to satisfy personal desires. However, while school was enjoyed on the whole, there were few indications of a clear conceptual connection in the minds of the pupils between specific curriculum subject learning and particular ambitions, although generic skills, such as literacy and social skills, such as 'making friends' were considered useful for the future. If the findings from this research are not exceptional, then there is a danger that many young teenagers may not perceive as relevant much of what they learn in school from day-to-day and may consequently become demotivated and disengage from the process. It may be advisable to create greater transparency as to the use and value of curricular content at the point of delivery in the classroom.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.485076
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 14:22
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2016 14:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10306

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