Invisible Students, Impossible Dreams

Experiencing Vocational Education 14-19

Paperback / softback, 180 pages, 244 mm x 170 mm
1 Sep 2009
Trentham Books Ltd

Price: £21.99

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This book explores the aspirations and experiences of the young people who are the real focus of the 14-19 agenda - the 'disaffected', 'disengaged' and low-achieving. Perceived not to have succeeded in traditional academic subjects, they move into low-level vocational education programmes post-16, often failing to pursue or complete 'opportunities' for progression. Based on original research carried out in two large FE Colleges in England's Midlands, the book presents rich qualitative data about the lives and educational experiences of these young people. It contests common assumptions that their aspirations are low, and illuminates the complexities of their lives as they try to make the transition from school to work. The data is presented in narrative form so the voices of the young people are clearly heard as they discuss their lives, hopes and aspirations. The book sets out the implications of the findings for policy and practice, so will be essential reading for trainee teachers who hope to work with 14-19 students and for professionals already involved in the implementation of the 14-19 agenda, whether as teacher practitioners, managers or policy makers.

  • Liz Atkins

Part One Introduction; Chapter 1 History, policy and practice in the 14-19 sector; Chapter 2 The invisible cohort: lower level vocational students; Chapter 3 Social justice; Part Two Narratives of a difficult present; hopes for a different future; Chapter 4 Woodlands and St Dunstan's Colleges: the social and institutional contexts; Chapter 5 Visions of a digital future: GNVQ IT Group, St Dunstans's; Chapter 6 Rehearsing Domesticity: GNVQ Health and social care group, St Dunstans; Chapter 7 Serving Time: Woodlands College level 1 group; Part Three Little stories of hope, dreams. Inequality and (lack of) opportunity; Chapter 8 Classed and gendered inequalities; Chapter 9 Fantasy futures; Chapter 10 Buying in to learning or working hard at doing leisure?; Chapter 11 Nurturing and the needy: a theraputic ethos; Chapter 12 Conclusions; Chapter 13 Implications for policy, practice, research and social justice.

Invisible students, impossible dreams can be explored at many levels from many aspects. It is a rich source for trainee teachers, teaching practitioners, managers and professionals in the 14-19 sector and not to be missed! - British Journal of Educational Technology