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A Critical Ethnography: Young People's Perspectives on the Effects of the Impending Closure of their School on their Education

Hartney, Karlene (2016) A Critical Ethnography: Young People's Perspectives on the Effects of the Impending Closure of their School on their Education. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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…. the frank concession is that we live in troubled times, yet we are enabled with a sobering belief that a better way does exist (Rexhepi and Torres, 2011, p.683). Schools in England are in a constant state of change. This research is about change in one secondary school in particular. It is an investigation into what young people think and feel about the changes in their school as it moves towards closure in 2016 and the effects of this impending closure on their education. The research draws on the critical paradigm which examines the structure of education in England specifically at the secondary level of schooling, and how, in a bid to raise standards, these changes sometimes leave young people feeling anxious, disappointed and worried about their education and their future. The research recognises young people as individuals in their own right, deserving of spaces for their voices to be heard during times of change. The research champions ‘voices’ over ‘voice’ in recognition that young people experience change in different ways, and this should not be lumped together as ‘student/pupil voice’. Data gathering involved collaborating with ten young people from St Luke’s Church of England High School over 15 months, from April 2014 through to July 2015, through open-ended, group and individual interviews, surveys and observation, whilst scrutinizing progress and achievement data from 2011/2012 when they were in Year 7, until 2014/2015 (Year 10). Data analysis and presentation are guided by the interpretative framework of Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) Three-Dimensional Narrative Inquiry Space, grouping themes and sub-themes to form 10 stories. The research concludes that the phased closure of St Luke’s had a profound impact on each of the young people. The phased closure proved challenging for all the participants in different ways and could, at some point, impact negatively on all their future aspirations. The main conclusion of the research study is that subject options were being reduced and thus the young people’s life chances were being curtailed in ways that they did not anticipate.

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.698304
Depositing User: Mrs Karlene Hartney
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 16:45
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:31
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15707

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