Changing schools at 11 or 12+ is a critical, often traumatic event in a pupil’s career. Earlier studies had looked at this transitional stage from the schools’ point of view, in the light of institutional aims and objectives. Originally published in 1984, this richly detailed and readable study looks at it from the pupils’ point of view: it illustrates their perceptions of the transfer, their anxieties and their experiences.
The book is the result of a research project, in which children transferring from a typical middle school to a typical comprehensive in a Midlands town were observed over a period of eighteen months. The authors reveal various ways in which children adjust to a large, more complex school organisation, to new forms of discipline and authority, and new demands in school work. They emphasise the significance of teenage culture during this period, and identify an important area of interplay between school culture and sub-culture. They pay special attention to gender identities, and the ways in which these affect pupils’ responses to different subjects in the curriculum.
Finally, they consider the theoretical and policy implications of their survey, and make positive recommendations for improving school and classroom practice at both primary and secondary level.
Authors’ Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Last Term at Middle School 1. Identities at Risk 2. Being Eased In Part 2: First Term at ‘High Town’: Provisional Adaptations 3. Initial Fronts 4. Making Friends Part 3: Second Term: Renegotiations 5. An Attempted Coup 6. Growing Pains Part 4: Third Term: Consolidated Adaptations 7. Making Space 8. Deviance, Conformity and Knife-Edging Part 5: Conclusion 9. Theoretical and Policy Implications. Appendix: The Origin of Current Transfer Points. References. Index.