Lived experiences of marginalisation in education: how unrelenting indifference and successive barriers to inclusion can make educational marginalisation inescapable

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Abstract

Following one student’s account of his lived-experiences of marginalisation in education, this paper chronicles the series of barriers to inclusion he encounters. It is argued that the severe cumulative effects of this succession of barriers, provides a powerful concrete illustration of ways in which educational inequalities may be realised - and crucially compounded - within the current neo-liberal education system. He traces the beginning of his difficulties back to starting secondary school, from which point he felt left to struggle alone. Subsequently he was placed in the lowest set for English, withdrawn from lessons for extended episodes for anger issues, assigned to a vocational track, removed from school and placed on a full-time college placement and restricted to taking two GCSEs. Permeating his account are issues of primary-secondary transition, ability grouping and pathway allocations. Teacher-student relationships, expectations and control appear. Repercussions of particular pedagogies and issues of unmet learning needs also feature. Whilst focussed changes to classroom practice and policy, may aim to alleviate barriers to inclusion one-by-one, I argue what is needed to tackle such cumulative realisations of educational inequalities, is a more drastic wholesale reversal of inroads made by marketization, together with embracing critical pedagogy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThinking with Stephen J. Ball:
Subtitle of host publicationLines of Flight in Education
EditorsMaria Tamboukou
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter7
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Jan 2021

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