Educational performance and personal success of young people: A field experiment in teacher education

Year: 1994

Author: Walker, James C.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on Phase 2 of a project examining the scope for and methods of adult intervention in the group dynamics, peer relations and subcultures of secondary school students.

In the first phase of the research, reported at last year's AARE Conference, an approach to group work was developed in which young people join small groups, led by the researcher, to back each other in pursuit of educational and other personal goals which may be compromised or suppressed by subcultural norms and practices, by family circumstances, or by self-concept and low self-esteem. In the second phase initial teacher education students at three universities have been trained in the group work approach and have been working with young people in Sydney and Canberra.

The paper will report particularly on the effect of school structures, practices and changes on the possibility of getting into close contact with the subcultures and personal worlds of young people, and understanding their educational motivations, values and beliefs in this context.