The social positioning of supplementary schooling

Simon, Amanda Rachel (2013). The social positioning of supplementary schooling. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This research study constitutes an ethnographic investigation of the social positioning of 16 ‘supplementary schools’. The study incorporates positioning theory coupled with Blommaert’s approach to discourse as theoretical and analytical frameworks. The realm of supplementary schooling is complex and diverse with each school engaged in various educational projects dictated by multiple socio-political and historical factors. This complexity however is not adequately represented within current research literature. The first phase of this study investigates the key purposes of 16 diverse supplementary schools in Birmingham. This phase also encompasses the establishment of a framework in which the social positioning of schools are represented. Such a framework will challenge existing essentialised notions of supplementary schooling. This aspect of the study is achieved through semi-structured interviews with school leaders from all 16 schools. This social positioning of supplementary schools is further explored within phase 2 of the study, through an in-depth case study of an African-Caribbean school. Here, classroom observation fieldnotes, interactive recordings and staff interviews afford an exploration of the relationship between school positioning and micro-level discursive practices. Analysis of this data demonstrates that supplementary schools are complex socio-political enterprises that are situated within and respond to multiple historical, social and political storylines. The study argues that these historical, social and political contexts should be considered in order to gain a developed understanding of the role and social positioning of these institutions.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education


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