Silver bullet or red herring? New evidence on the place of aspirations in education

St. Clair, R., Kintrea, K. and Houston, M. (2013) Silver bullet or red herring? New evidence on the place of aspirations in education. Oxford Review of Education, 39(6), pp. 719-738. (doi: 10.1080/03054985.2013.854201)

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This article reports on a longitudinal study of student aspirations at the ages of 13 and 15 in three schools in the United Kingdom, where there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on aspirations in recent policy making. The data, based on individual interviews with 490 students in areas with significant deprivation as well as interviews with parents, teachers and community members, call into question the effectiveness of concentrating educational efforts on raising aspirations. Aspirations, even in these communities struggling with poverty, are very high—the missing element is the knowledge of how to make these aspirations concrete and obtainable. Implications for educators include insights into the highly aspirational nature of marginalised communities, the key role teachers play in helping aspirations come to fruition, and the need to focus on supporting young people to achieve aspirations that already substantially exceed the jobs available in the UK workforce.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:St Clair, Prof Ralf and Houston, Dr Muir and Kintrea, Professor Keith
Authors: St. Clair, R., Kintrea, K., and Houston, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:Oxford Review of Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN (Online):1465-3915

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