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Alternative perspectives on school exclusion

Forde, P (2018) Alternative perspectives on school exclusion. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis explores, from non-standard, alternative perspectives, the subject of the permanent exclusion of children from school, especially avoidable exclusions. I discuss my work as a teacher and educational psychologist, a witness to and actor in this recurring phenomenon. I have considerable experience to draw from. Bearing witness to so many exclusions has proven challenging, bringing with it emotional cost. I cite research that reveals the extent of the school exclusion problem, research that is impotent in terms of promoting much-needed change. In pursuit of reason I go in new directions, exploring the works of four philosophers, using their insights as tools to explore the void between theory and practice, logic and reason; and how we want things to be and the reality of how things are for our most vulnerable children. Permanent exclusion from school is a complex social event the incidence rate of which is obfuscated by the agencies of school, local authority and government. I expose the numbers fiasco, which disguises the magnitude of the problem. The number of children formally excluded is, I argue, massaged downwards, the number informally excluded is concealed. The most vulnerable children are disproportionately affected and their voices rarely heard. We who contribute to these acts of exclusion do so dogmatically, ignorantly and blindly. Our role in the matter remains concealed even from ourselves. This thesis examines that role. Exclusion from school continues with machine-like regularity - something is driving it. To make an emotional connection with the subject matter I use the qualitative tools of personal reflection and fictional stories, the latter using a method inspired by Clough (2002). I address two research questions. I evaluate my study using the criteria suggested by Yardley (2000).

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr P Forde
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 08:50
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 14:31
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21662

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