|Background of students in Alternative Education:Interviews with a selected 2008 cohort
This report documents the stories of a group of “at risk” young people who have been expelled from mainstream schools and who attend alternative education facilities. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Education and the research carried out in mid-2008.
The report is based on one-to-one interviews with 41 young people in five alternative education centres. Another 9 students were consulted on the research design, questions and analysis.
The students’ stories capture four main aspects of their lives and educational experiences:
- How the students have experienced learning in their schooling so far;
- The nature of their educational and social experiences in alternative education centres
- The impact of their health, friends and family life experiences on their learning; and
- What students consider to be their strengths and aspirations for the future.
The researchers make the argument that because of their family backgrounds, which children have little control over, these students have high and specific needs on a par with students who have special needs for physical and cognitive disabilities.