Perspectives of marginalised groups on HE and progression in education, including social and cultural contexts

Satchwell, Candice orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8111-818X, Crook, Deborah orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1852-1130 and Dodding, Jacqueline orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1956-0086 (2022) Perspectives of marginalised groups on HE and progression in education, including social and cultural contexts. Project Report. Future U. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Rewriting the Future has been undertaken in three phases from 2018 to the end of 2021. This report details the work carried out in 2020-2021, which has built upon the research conducted previously. The key aim of the earlier research was to enable young people to imagine alternative futures and thereby identify specific barriers and enablers for continued educational engagement. This led to a set of findings which in turn led to the development of interactive resources to explore educational experiences and future aspirations with further groups of marginalised young people. Data collection in all stages of Rewriting the Future has been a co-created process of working with young people to establish questions relevant to them in exploring educational aspirations, engagement and progression. This involves utilising participatory methods that enable young people to express their perspectives and ideas in ways which encourage identification of the issues, reflection and potential solutions. Participatory group activities allow the researchers to research ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ young people, and responses are recorded in different ways to produce rich data, allowing for the exploration of themes through different lenses. Analysis of data collected in Phase 3 led to the following themes: Perceptions of young people (by self and others); Relationships with others; Influential sources; Structural/contextual issues; and Knowledge and understanding. Significantly it is the nature and quality of children’s experiences of these factors which can affect whether they are barriers or enablers. Although our findings have been broadly categorised under a series of headings, a substantial finding is how interconnected the various themes are, and how a holistic approach is required when working with children and young people to discuss their futures. Whereas school students we worked with often thought first of qualifications and grades when considering university, our methods began from the starting point of imagining futures for themselves and exploring the range of routes available to them. Through considering the routes we were also able to identify potential challenges along the way, as well as enablers. Challenges and enablers took a range of forms, but one of the most significant observations was how the discussion itself enabled worries, assumptions, concerns and beliefs to come out into the open and to give access to alternative points of view.

Contents

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Aims of this research
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Introduction
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Context and literature review
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Methods
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Analysis Framework
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Findings
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Discussion
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Conclusions
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Recommendations
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References
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