‘Dropping Out’, Drifting Off, Being Excluded

Becoming Somebody Without School

by John Smyth (Author) Robert Hattam (Author)
Textbook XIII, 224 Pages


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.


XIII, 224
ISBN (Book)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2004. XIII, 224 pp., 3 fig., 3 tables

Biographical notes

John Smyth (Author) Robert Hattam (Author)

The Authors: John Smyth is Emeritus Professor of Education at Flinders University of South Australia. He was Founding Director of the Flinders Institute for the Study of Teaching, Associate Dean of Research, and a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar. He holds positions in Australia as Research Professor at Edith Cowan University; Adjunct Professor at Charles Darwin University; Professorial Fellow at the University of Ballarat; and Visiting Professor, University of Waikato and Massey University in New Zealand. He is the author and editor of many books, including, most recently, Critical Politics of Teachers’ Work: An Australian Perspective (Peter Lang, 2001). Research for the current book was undertaken in his capacity at Flinders and Edith Cowan universities. Robert Hattam is a faculty member at University of South Australia and Research Manager of the Flinders Institute for the Study of Teaching. He is a co-author of Teachers’ Work in a Globalising Economy (2000), and Schooling for a Fair Go (1998).


Title: ‘Dropping Out’, Drifting Off, Being Excluded