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Interest, learning, and belonging in flexible learning programmes


te Riele, K and Plows, V and Bottrell, D, Interest, learning, and belonging in flexible learning programmes, International Journal on School Disaffection, 12, (1) pp. 45-63. ISSN 1478-8497 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 UCL Institute of Education Press

DOI: doi:10.18546/IJSD.12.1.03


This paper expounds a dynamic understanding of interest, including cognitive and affective dimensions. This conceptualization of interest is applied to findings from research in two flexible learning settings that provided access to foundation-level credentials for young people who, for whatever reason, had disengaged from or sought alternatives to traditional schooling models. The discussion of findings begins with an outline of how interest played out in the two programmes, before examining how interest was related to learning and to belonging. In relation to learning, interest acts as a motivator, draws on short- and long-term goal relevance, and enhances academic achievement. In relation to belonging, interest serves to build in-group connections through shared identity, but also acts as a platform for launching enhanced connections with the wider community. We conclude that interest is about more than curriculum relevance for individuals, and holds significance for both learning and belonging. This may inform approaches to education not only in flexible learning programmes but also in conventional schools.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:personal interest, shared interest, engagement, goal relevance, belonging, shared identity, flexible learning programmes, alternative schools
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Equity and access to education
UTAS Author:te Riele, K (Professor Kitty te Riele)
ID Code:113823
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment
Deposited On:2017-01-24
Last Modified:2017-12-18

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