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“It must be a fluke” – The Self-Perceptions of Learners Entering a College of Further and Higher Education FACE CONFERENCE 2009 Wednesday 1 st July Jo.

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Presentation on theme: "“It must be a fluke” – The Self-Perceptions of Learners Entering a College of Further and Higher Education FACE CONFERENCE 2009 Wednesday 1 st July Jo."— Presentation transcript:

1 “It must be a fluke” – The Self-Perceptions of Learners Entering a College of Further and Higher Education FACE CONFERENCE 2009 Wednesday 1 st July Jo Finch

2 Contents Who am I? Background to Research Undertaken Findings Implications for College Wider Policy Implications Questions?

3 Who am I? Curriculum Manager BA (Hons) Social Work and Post Graduate Diploma in Practice Education at Havering College of Further and Higher Education Associate Lecturer – University of Sussex (School of Social Work and Social Care) Former Children and Families Social Worker and Play Therapist I also live in the borough under study

4 Background to Research Leads on from “Four Cities Research” (2007, HEFCE) which explored reasons for low participation in HE by young people in 4 constituencies (Birmingham, Bristol, Sheffield and Nottingham) Part of new round of qualitative research commissioned by HEFCE in May 08, in other geographical areas with low participation rates*. One of those areas identified is the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham This research is led by UEL and includes research undertaken by Barking College and Havering College * London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Brighton, Leeds, Salford and Cambridgeshire

5 Research questions in all locations aimed to: Provide a clearer understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors which lie behind low participation rates in the different geographical locations Help HE providers develop different and effective ways of engaging with their local communities, particularly schools Provide evidence for longer term strategic development of widening participation in selected areas and possibly provide lessons and models for potential transfer.

6 Research questions in all locations aimed to: Provide a clearer understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors which lie behind low participation rates in the different geographical locations Help HE providers develop different and effective ways of engaging with their local communities, particularly schools Provide evidence for longer term strategic development of widening participation in selected areas and possibly provide lessons and models for potential transfer.

7 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals 2) HE Learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Why studying HE course The needs of such learners Future aspirations and goals

8 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals

9 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals The self-perception of learners, i.e. how they perceive themselves as learners Why? Implications for college and wider policies?

10 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals The self-perception of learners, i.e. how they perceive themselves as learners Sense of under-achievement in GSCE results Lazy Needed “pushing” Stupid son/daughter in family – clever sibling Not Gifted and Talented Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions quiet Good GSCE results “luck” or “a fluke” No interventions at school

11 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals The self-perception of learners, i.e. how they perceive themselves as learners Sense of under-achievement in GSCE results Lazy Needed “pushing” Stupid son/daughter in family – clever sibling Not Gifted and Talented Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions quiet Good GSCE results “luck” or “a fluke” No interventions at school

12 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals The self-perception of learners, i.e. how they perceive themselves as learners Sense of under-achievement in GSCE results Lazy Needed “pushing” Stupid son/daughter in family – clever sibling Not Gifted and Talented Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions quiet Good GSCE results “luck” or “a fluke” No interventions at school

13 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions Good GSCE results “luck” or “a fluke” Emily was “amazed” by her GSCE results. “It must be a fluke”. When I got my results I was really happy, wanted to go and say, in your face….felt that no teacher thought I could do it”. (Saskia)

14 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals The self-perception of learners, i.e. how they perceive themselves as learners Sense of under-achievement in GSCE results Lazy Needed “pushing” Stupid son/daughter in family – clever sibling Not Gifted and Talented Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions quiet Good GSCE results “luck” or “a fluke” No interventions at school

15 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals Sense of under-achievement in GSCE results Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions “I did OK…nothing special” (James) “I did not achieve my full potential in terms of GCSE results, I was disappointed with myself”. (Kaz) 17 out of 20 got around 9 GSCEs (c or above)

16 Havering College Research (2 “strands”) 1) FE Level 3 learners Experience of school, education and living in the borough Advice, guidance received at school re future academic/career choices How academic choices were made Future aspirations and goals The self-perception of learners, i.e. how they perceive themselves as learners Sense of under-achievement in GSCE results Lazy Needed “pushing” Stupid son/daughter in family – clever sibling Not Gifted and Talented Not subject to “interventionsNot subject to “interventions quiet Good GSCE results “luck” or “a fluke” No interventions at school

17 BUT…… Most of the learners achieved good GSCE results Most of the learners wanted to go to university (mostly post 92 to do a range of vocational subjects) Learners were positive about the college environment… …and liked being “treated like an adult”… …and enjoyed good relationships with tutors

18 The Learner Under-achieved Did not like school Do not like where they live “Othering” Not Clever Lazy Not G&T Not subject of “interventions” Quiet Different from “others” Enjoy college Independent learners Growing confidence as learners Want to go to University See qualifications as important Motivated Want to do “well” Career plans

19 Possible Implications for the College Teaching and learning strategies Different ways of marketing in the borough Consider how the college might develop its presence in the borough further. College & tutors to understand the distinctive needs of such learners? Supplier of “cultural capital?” – further enrichment activities

20 Wider Policy Implications? One learner, felt it would be useful for schools to engage parents around time when making post 16 choices. College schools could also engage with parents at university decision making time How to support such learners in school, i.e “the quiet ones”. Consider further the specific needs of learners growing up in areas with poor reputations Borough to critically consider how it might engage in mass “pathologisation” of the local population


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