chapter  18
19 Pages

Barriers to belonging: students' perceptions of factors which affect participation in schools

I found this discovery exciting and it led me in the second year of the study to extend the range of questions I had used in interviews in the first year. While I wanted to revisit the issues I had covered in Year 8 and contrast the students' responses to those given, in Year 9 , 1 also wanted to investigate their perceptions of their sense of belonging, not only in the history classroom, but also in other situations. To this end I chose two subjects which were organised differently in the school. These subjects were mathematics, a strictly abilitysetted subject, and English, which was taught in mixed ability groups. The analysis of the data collected in Year 9 indicates that the presence or absence of a sense of belonging to a community impacts upon every area of participation within that communitv. and affects not onlv the students' sulbseauent-- - - - j f j . _ _ _ _ _ _ J . behaviour, but also their perceptions of themselves.