chapter  4
16 Pages

Challenging the myth that ‘the parents don’t care’

Family teachings about education for ‘educationally disengaged’ young people
BySamantha McMahon, Anna Hickey-Moody, Valerie Harwood

This chapter focuses on the pedagogical work of families in relation to formal education and educational exclusion. It explains how university was imagined by educationally disengaged young people from disadvantaged communities. The chapter uses Cambourne's Conditions of Learning to think through the family's explicit and implicit teachings. These communities were chosen because: they were identified as low socioeconomic status; had high rates of school behavioural problems, school non-attendance and non-completion to year 12 and featured attendance and absenteeism intervention programs; and experienced disadvantage in terms of health, community safety, economic and education factors. The perceived importance of families' teaching and learning about education, was described by some of the young people who were already in parenting roles The grey area' of mixed messages' regarding families implicit pedagogies about education was family members' demonstrations of educational disengagement. Explicit family pedagogies also generate messages that are positive, negative and confusing in regards to understanding education.