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‘Dropping Out’, Drifting Off, Being Excluded

Becoming Somebody Without School


John Smyth and Robert Hattam

This book deals with one of the most urgent, damaging, and complex issues affecting young lives and contemporary society in general – the escalating high school dropout rate. Though against the wishes of teachers and school administrators, young people’s decision to leave school is usually made under circumstances that provide little time or space for discussion. This book provides a disturbing account of how students’ voices are over-ridden – lost in the imposition of curriculum and the rush to impose testing, accountability, and management regimes on schools. ‘Dropping Out’, Drifting Off, Being Excluded reveals the complex stories that surround identity formation in young lives and the «interactive trouble» as young people struggle to be heard within inhospitable schools and an equally unhelpful education system.