"New conceptions of student "neediness" and directions for better responses"

Year: 2001

Author: Turale, Sue, Lloyd, Doug

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper is about the issues relating to students’ lived experiences and responses associated with poverty. We show that poverty is a limited and limiting concept. Instead we focus on developing an understanding of the nature of "needy" students’ lived experiences, the impact of these on their wellbeing and on success in several domains, and the strategies students employ in coping with and overcoming need-related problems. It will be particularly useful for post-compulsory secondary students and those in further and higher education. The paper builds a theoretical analysis of stress and coping. It shows how a longitudinal study of the nature of needy students’ problems and experiences, the responses that are employed in seeking to manage these problems, and the outcomes that result over time will yield important new understandings for students, schools, universities and policy makers. The framework allows an analysis of the influence of ‘place’ (rural, regional or urban) to identify context-specific differences in need, problems arising from need, coping strategies, and longer-term outcomes.

The results from a use of the new framework will allow for improved assessment of the impact of neediness on a student’s academic status and wellbeing, and better student and institutional responses. It will also allow state and national policy makers to facilitate improved national capability and return on school and tertiary education expenditure. The research will also indicate the extent to which ‘place’ issues need to be taken into consideration in assessing and alleviating the effects of neediness.