Alternative schooling programs for at risk youth : three case studies

Livock, Cheryl A. (2009) Alternative schooling programs for at risk youth : three case studies. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis develops a critical realist explanatory critique of alternative schooling programs for youth at risk taking place at three case study sites. Throughout the thesis the author pursues the question, \Are alternative provisions of schooling working academically and socially for youth at risk?. The academic lens targets literacy learning and associated pedagogies. Social outcomes are posited as positive social behaviours and continued engagement in learning. A four phased analysis, drawing on critical realism, interpretive and subject specific theories is used to elicit explanations for the research question. An overall framework is a critical realist methodology as set out by Danermark, Ekstrom, Jakobsen and Karlsson (2002, p. 129). Consequently phase one describes the phenomena of alternative schooling programs taking place at three case study sites. This is reported first as staff narratives that are resolved into imaginable historical causal components of \generative events., \prior schooling structures., \models of alternative schooling., \purpose., \individual agency., and \relations with linked community organisations.. Then transcendental questions are posed about each component using retroduction to uncover structures, underlying mechanisms and powers, and individual agency. In the second phase the researcher uses modified grounded theory methodology to theoretically redescribe causal categories related to a \needed different teaching and administrative approach. that emerged from the previous critique. A transcendental question is then applied to this redescription. The research phenomena are again theoretically redescribed in the third phase, this time using three theoretically based constructs associated with literacy and literacy pedagogies; the NRS, the 4 Resources Model, and Productive Pedagogies. This redescription is again questioned in terms of its core or \necessary. components. The fourth phase makes an explanatory critique by comparing and critiquing all previous explanations, recontextualising them in a wider macro reality of alternative schooling. Through this critical realist explanatory critiquing process, a response emerges not only to whether alternative provisions of schooling are working, but also how they are working, and how they are not working, with realistically based implications for future improvement.

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ID Code: 28898
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Healy, Annah & Crane, Philip
Keywords: at risk, youth, alternative schooling, alternative education programs, national reporting system, productive pedagogies, literacy, critical literacy, 4 resources model, critical realism, case study
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 25 Nov 2009 05:37
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:54

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