Informal learning in the secondary school: behaviour remediation programs and the informal learning environment as a space for re-engagement

Hickey, Andrew and Pauli-Myler, Tanya and Smith, Carly (2017) Informal learning in the secondary school: behaviour remediation programs and the informal learning environment as a space for re-engagement. Government Report. Queensland Department of Education , Brisbane, Australia. [Report]

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How is it that a group of young people, encountered in a program designed to remedy behaviour issues and disengagement from schooling, can be found to be engaged (and engaging) learners? What does it mean for these young people when the ‘regular’ classroom becomes a site within which they cannot effectively engage in learning? More intrinsically, what might it mean for these young people, and the communities within which they live, when the prospects for those who leave formal education early will likely include extended periods of unemployment, increased probability of reliance on government assistance and a greater likelihood of social exclusion (The Longitudinal Study of Australian Youth, 2000; Flint, 2011; Deloitte Access Economics, 2012)?
Informal Learning in the Secondary School: Behaviour Remediation Programs and the Informal Learning Environment as a Space for Re-engagement (hereon Informal Learning in the Secondary School), sought to respond to these questions. Drawn from empirical evidence gathered as part of a long-term ethnography of an alternative learning program delivered in a secondary school setting, this project outlined how informality functioned as a central component of a ‘relational pedagogy’ within the alternative learning space.
As a defining feature of the alternative learning program investigated here, informality was expressed as an ‘irreverence’ for the structures and modes of conduct otherwise enacted within the school. A ‘looseness’ pervaded the interactions and practice of the program and it was with this that a range of inter-relationships different to those typically experienced elsewhere in the school emerged. The case site became a ‘disorienting’ space because of this looseness and accordingly provoked new possibilities for learning.
The findings offered in this report suggest that informality, expressed as a core aspect of a ‘relational pedagogy’ and witnessed variously within the modes of instruction, sites of learning and practices of interpersonal interaction that were foundational to the alternative learning space provided a powerful means for extending student learning, enhancing positive inter-relationality and furthering engagement. From this, the conceptual tripartite ‘relationships-behaviour-pathways’ was used to position understandings of the ways students came to, and experienced, the alternative learning program. In particular, this report highlights that the informality of the program enabled different forms of relationality to prosper. By emphasising this connection between informality and the relationality between students and students and teachers, this report outlines how meaningful re-engagement in school might be made more fully possible through a relational pedagogy of informality.

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Item Type: Report (Government Report)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit of Published version.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2018 00:27
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 03:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: informality, pedagogy, informal learning, relationality, alternative learning, schooling
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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