Early School Leaving in the European Union provides an analysis of early school leaving (ESL) in nine European Union countries, with a particular focus on young people who were previously enrolled in educational institutions inside and outside mainstream secondary education. The comparative approach employed by this volume adds to the existing body of knowledge on ESL and develops an understanding of how young people navigate through different educational systems.
Contributors acknowledge the importance of reconstructing educational trajectories from the perspective of the individuals involved and, as a result, the book includes data collected during in-depth interviews, surveys, and insights from educational professionals, policymakers and representatives from civil society organisations. Adopting a classic tripartite approach, which acknowledges the complex nature of ESL, the book addresses individual, institutional and systemic factors. It identifies and analyses the prevention, intervention and compensation measures that can succeed in supporting young people’s attainment, and demonstrates how these can be used to reduce ESL.
This unique book will be highly relevant for academics, researchers and postgraduate students, as well as educational practitioners. Drawing on the insights provided by the authors, the book formulates policy recommendations that should also be of interest for policymakers in European countries and beyond.
Table of Contents
Introduction: theoretical and conceptual framework - Lore Van Praag, Ward Nouwen, Rut Van Caudenberg, Noel Clycq, Christiane Timmerman
Part I: State of the art and impact of early school leaving across European countries
- Disengaged students: insights from the RESL.eu international survey – Alessio D’Angelo and Neil Kaye
- Pathways to Early School Leaving in Hungary: Ethnicised Inequalities in Education and the Case of Roma Youth – Ágnes Kende & Júlia Szalai
- Shaping the policies towards Early School Leaving (ESL) in Portugal, Sweden and Poland – Helena C. Araújo, Eunice Macedo, Alireza Bethoui, Hanna Tomaszewska-Pękała, Paulina Marchlik, Anna Wrona & Cristina Rocha
- The individual and economic costs of early school leaving – Marie Gitschthaler & Erna Nairz-Wirth
Part II: Youngsters’ perspectives on early school leaving and schooling
- A narrative approach exploring youngsters’ experiences of schooling and leaving school early in Flanders (Belgium): the stories of Simon and Karim – Rut Van Caudenberg, Noel Clycq & Christiane Timmerman
- Struggling against the waves or taking another course: School disengagement in the educational trajectories of early school leavers from Warsaw – Paulina Marchlik, Anna Wrona, Hanna Tomaszewska-Pękała
- The Social Relations and Educational Expectations of Young People in Marginalised Areas: Evidence from Sweden – Alireza Behtoui, Marie Björklöf and Isabella Strömberg
- What’s school got to do with it? Comparing educational aspirations of Dutch and English ‘white’ girls from lower socioeconomic backgrounds – Talitha Stam and Maurice Crul
Part III: Educational trajectories of youth (at risk of) leaving school early
- Switching practices in vocational education: A comparative case study in Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands – Lore Van Praag, Elif Keskiner, Rut Van Caudenberg, Ward Nouwen, Talitha Stam, Noel Clycq, Mariana Orozco, Christiane Timmerman, Maurice Crul
- Educational Trajectories Of Early School Leavers In Portugal: Processes And Conditions Of (In)Equality – Sofia A. Santos, Eunice Macedo and Helena C. Araújo
- Neglected aspirations. Academic trajectories and the risk of ESL among immigrant and Roma youth in Spain – Silvia Carrasco, Laia Narciso and Marta Bertran
Part IV: Strategies to deal with early school leaving
- No bridges to re-engagement? Exploring compensatory measures for early school leavers in Catalonia (Spain) from a qualitative approach – Silvia Carrasco, Isidoro Ruiz-Haro & Bálint-Ábel Bereményi
- Alternative Learning Arenas in Portugal: Hope for Young Adults? – Eunice Macedo, Sofia Almeida Santos & Alexandra Oliveira Doroftei
- The Opportunities and Challenges of Apprenticeships in England: alternative learning arenas or sites of exploitation? - Louise Ryan & Magdolna Lőrinc
Conclusion - Elif Keskiner and Maurice Crul
Lore Van Praag, PhD Ghent University, is research coordinator at the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies (University of Antwerp) and project manager of the RESL.eu project. Her research interests focus on inequalities in education, tracking practices, ethnic minorities, early school leavers and humour.
Ward Nouwen is a sociologist of education and a PhD researcher at the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies of the University of Antwerp. His main research topics are school segregation, educational tracking, early school leaving and work-based learning.
Rut Van Caudenberg is a joint PhD candidate at the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp (Belgium) and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Her research focuses on urban youth’s lived experiences of schooling and education in Flanders and Catalonia.
Noel Clycq, PhD University of Antwerp, is a visiting professor and holds the chair in ‘European values: discourses and prospects’ at the Faculty of Arts and is member of the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies (CeMIS), both at the University of Antwerp. His main research interests are socialization and identification processes in educational and family settings, with a focus on migration, diversity and Europe.
Christiane Timmerman, PhD Catholic University of Leuven, is the head of the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp. She has published on migration, ethnic minorities and education. She has coordinated various international projects, such as the RESL.eu project, the EUMIGINE project.
"The book uses a rich collection of detailed student survey data, in-depth student interviews, surveys of school personnel, and interviews with government officials to provide a comprehensive and in-depth examination of the problem of Early School Leaving (ESL) in the European Union. The research is well-grounded in prevailing theories and research, yet the book also undercovers a more complex process of early school leaving than previous research suggests. As such, the book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of this important and impactful phenomenon."
Russell Rumberger, author of Dropping out: Why students drop out of high school and what can be done about it (Harvard University Press).
"This multidisciplinary book offers an indispensable reference point for researchers and students regarding early school leaving in Europe and beyond. It offers a multidimensional lens for understanding this vital issue across a range of European contexts. Key themes examined, including early warning systems, socio-emotional supports, holistic multiprofessional approaches and an ethos centred on students' voices, offer important strategic directions for policymakers internationally."
Dr. Paul Downes, Director, Educational Disadvantage Centre, Associate Professor of Education (Psychology), Dublin City University, Member of Coordinating Committee of European Commission Network of Experts on the Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET II) (2015-18).