Returning-to-school students

Dropout from upper secondary education in Iceland is higher than in the neighboring countries, but varied options to re-enter school have also been on offer. This article focuses on how students, who had returned to a selected upper secondary school after having quit in one or more other schools, benefited from an innovative pedagogical approach used in the school. The article draws upon interviews, in which the interviewees expressed their pleasure with the school, reporting three main assets of its pedagogy: firstly, a supportive school ethos and student–teacher relationships expressed by the ways in which teachers worked, and also in teachers’ views towards students; secondly, an online learning platform, used by all teachers, which the students could use to structure their studies; and thirdly, the use of formative assessment and no final end-of-term examinations. This pedagogy comprises a whole school approach, and the article concludes that such a school culture and practice enables teenagers and young adults to exercise their right to re-enter academic upper secondary education, which prepares for college, rather than directing them to an industry vocational or practical study program they take little or no interest in.

Article published in Critical Studies in Education:

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