Smyth, John (2005) An argument for new understandings of early school leaving that go beyond the conventional. London Review of Education, 3 (2). pp. 117-130. ISSN 1474-8460

This paper presents an argument around the need to rethink the issue of early school leaving from the vantage point of students and teachers, and the conditions and pathways that need to be constructed and brought into existence within schooling, if such conditions do not already exist. The attempt is to move discussions outside of the well-meaning but ultimately unhelpful literatures of 'at risk' categories that end up blaming students, their families or backgrounds. The claim being advanced is that the focus needs to be on relationships, school cultures, and pedagogical arrangements that make schools more attractive and educationally engaging places.

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