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“Do we get our say?” Negotiating the curriculum with students at risk

Judy Bruce

This action-research project investigated the efficacy of negotiation and power sharing during a physical education unit in an alternative education programme for students at risk. The students preferred enjoyable learning experiences that took place outside the classroom and wished for greater responsibility and ownership for their own learning. Staff and students preferred this approach, despite tensions that arose in the negotiation process. A philosophical and pedagogical shift occurred as the programme moved away from an approach based on tangible rewards.

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