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Student participation and disadvantage: limitations in policy and practice

journal contribution
posted on 2011-06-01, 00:00 authored by Ros BlackRos Black
The public policy of numerous nations, including Australia, articulates a clear expectation that schools will develop young people’s capacities to participate in civic society and its democratic structures and processes. A romantic policy rhetoric hides a reality that is both more complex and less well understood than is typically acknowledged. Young people’s democratic participation is subject to varying interpretations and implementation, and is employed to serve varying agendas. The role of schools in developing this participation is particularly subject to tensions and contradictions that can work to undermine and constrain the participation of marginalised young people. There is an abundance of research and policy literature on this topic. Yet, within this plethora of prescription and commentary, the key threads that might make a difference are not always clear. Moreover, there is little in this supposedly inclusive agenda that considers its implications for marginalised groups. This article provides a meta-analysis of the current policy and research landscape, examining the dominant discourses and their implications for young people’s participation. It focuses particular attention on the position of marginalised young people as it emerges from the literature and outlines an alternative agenda with the potential to challenge an overly complacent policy and practice context.

History

Journal

Journal of youth studies

Volume

14

Issue

4

Pagination

463 - 474

Publisher

Routledge

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1367-6261

eISSN

1469-9680

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Taylor & Francis