Student engagement in schools serving marginalised communities

Riddle, Stewart ORCID: and Howell, Angelique and McGregor, Glenda and Mills, Martin (2021) Student engagement in schools serving marginalised communities. International Journal of Inclusive Education. ISSN 1360-3116

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Restricted - Available after 1 February 2023.


This paper shares findings from a project that examined how schools serving marginalised communities facilitated students’ substantive engagement. Through interviews with students, parents, teachers and school leaders, we determined that substantive engagement was supported by formal and informal strategies that enabled access to rich learning opportunities, the provision of welcoming school and classroom climates, and the enactment of pedagogies of care and school-wide programmes focused on substantive engagement. There were four key areas of substantive engagement: engaging curriculum and pedagogy, engaging school climate, engaging with learners, and engaging with communities. Strategies to support engagement included the removal of barriers to learning, such as assistance with breakfast or public transport, nurturing a positive school climate, providing support for ethnic groups and the delivery of alternative or flexible programmes. Drawing on the findings from five case studies, we propose four principles for substantive student engagement in complex contexts, which will be useful for school leaders and teachers who work in schools that serve marginalised communities.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version embargoed until 1 February 2023 (18 months), in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2021 04:45
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 00:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: substantive engagement, nurture, pedagogies of care,learning outcomes, social justice
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3902 Education policy, sociology and philosophy > 390203 Sociology of education
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
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