Invisible Students, Impossible Dreams

Experiencing Vocational Education 14-19

November 2009
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    13th November 2009
  • ISBN 9781858564517
  • Language English
  • Pages 186 pp.
  • Size 6.75" x 9.25"

This book explores the aspirations and experiences of the young people who are the real focus of the 14-19 agenda–the “disaffected”, “disengaged” and low-achieving. Perceived not to have succeeded in traditional academic subjects, they move into low-level vocational education programs post-16, often failing to pursue or complete opportunities for progression.

Based on original research carried out in two large FE Colleges in England’s Midlands, the book presents rich qualitative data about the lives and educational experiences of these young people. It contests common assumptions that their aspirations are low, and illuminates the complexities of their lives as they try to make the transition from school to work. The data is presented in narrative form so the voices of the young people are clearly heard as they discuss their lives, hopes and aspirations.

The book sets out the implications of the findings for policy and practice, so will be essential reading for trainee teachers who hope to work with 14-19 students and for professionals already involved in the implementation of the 14-19 agenda, whether as teacher practitioners, managers or policy makers.

Liz Atkins

Liz Atkins is Principal Lecturer in Learning and Skills at Nottingham Trent University. She has taught extensively in Colleges of Further Education with students aged 14 to 19.