chapter  10
12 Pages

The relational dimension of 'effective schooling' for marginalized young women

In Australia, as in other industrialized countries, youth and education policies have aimed at extending the time young people spend in formal education, including an increased retention to the end of senior secondary schooling (Australian Education Council Review Committee 1991; Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) 2003). Federal and state governments in Australia use the term 'youth-at-risk' to refer to young people likely to leave formal education earlier than currently considered politically, socially and economically desirable. Identification of these young people often focuses on personal attributes which are perceived to make them more susceptible to educational 'failure' (Paterson 1995) or on group attributes such as 'children's race, gender, class, first language, family makeup, and environment' (Swadener and Lubeck 1995: 25). Morgan and Morris (1999: 68) have shown that, in the UK context, more than 60 per cent of teachers surveyed similarly blamed student and family deficits for lower levels of learning.