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Open Access Valuing the talk of young people: are we nearly there yet?

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This paper examines the reasons why young people's talk about themselves and their educational experiences do not seem to be valued in public discourse about education. Drawing on a national dataset of student focus groups, it illustrates how students talk about themselves in educational contexts in a way that is entirely different and more complex than how they are conceptualised by an adult audience and symbolic elites. It demonstrates, contrary to dominant adult perceptions, the critical, communicative and creative use of language offered by young people when asked about their educational experiences, and highlights the potential innovation being missed by not listening.

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Keywords: PUBLIC DISCOURSE; TEENAGE TALK; THE LANGUAGE OF YOUNG PEOPLE; VOICE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2013

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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