Alternative and flexible education settings may come in different forms, but they generally have in common a focus on young people who have been disengaged from conventional schooling. One challenge of these settings, therefore, is to change the way education is offered in order to better engage these students. Much of the onus for this changed approach is on the staff: teachers, youth workers and other support staff. Therefore, the purpose of this book is to examine different aspects of the work of staff in these settings.
Several common threads run through the chapters in this book, highlighting core aspects of the work of staff in these settings:
• A strong sense of commitment to working with and for young people from marginalised backgrounds.
• Validation of the relational and emotional nature of education, as a fundamentally people-centred enterprise.
• The importance of explicit attention to critical reflection on staff members’ own positionality, assumptions and identity.
• Collegiality as a crucially affirming part of school culture for staff.
These elements are pertinent to educational settings everywhere. The chapters in this book serve as a reminder of what really ‘counts’ for our young people and their schooling.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Teaching Education.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Learning from teaching in alternative and flexible education settings Introduction: Teaching in alternative and flexible education settings 1. Emerging ideas for innovation in Indigenous education: a research synthesis of Indigenous educative roles in mainstream and flexi schools 2. Symbolic non-violence in the work of teachers in alternative education settings 3. Cultivating critical reflection: educators making sense and meaning of professional identity and relational dynamics in complex practice 4. Exploring the affective dimension of teachers work in alternative school settings 5. Reworking or reaffirming practice? Perceptions of professional learning in alternative and flexible education settings 6. Beyond the middle finger: affective labour, an ethic of care and the reform of teacher education
Martin Mills is Professor of Education and Director of the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre, the Institute of Education, University College London, UK. His research interests relate to social justice issues in education, sociology of education, teachers work and pedagogical practice.
Kitty te Riele is Professor and Deputy Director (Research) in the Peter Underwood Centre at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She researches educational policy and practice aimed at enhancing opportunities for access, participation and success in education by diverse, disadvantaged and under-represented young people.
Glenda McGregor is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, Australia. She teaches in the areas of globalisation, youth studies and history curriculum. Her research interests include sociology of youth, school reform, curriculum and social justice and education.
Aspa Baroutsis is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She researches in the areas of sociology of education and education policy with a focus on social justice. Her research interests include mediatisation, media constructions and representations of identity, children and young people’s voice, digital technologies and literacy learning.