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Motivational Patterns in Disaffected School Students: insights from pupil referral unit clients.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date06/2001
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Number of pages16
Original languageEnglish


This recently completed small-scale study investigated perceptions of the circumstances of pupils registered with Pupil Referral Units. Questionnaires were administered to all pupils registered, covering a range of perceptions of their current circumstances, history and prospects. The questionnaire also contained scales from the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey, enabling assessments of pupil motivation. Interviews were conducted with a sample of pupils and practitioners who work with them. These included school teachers, tutorial centre teachers, and service managers. The article explores the variety of views expressed and concludes that there is little evidence to support the claim that disaffection experienced by these pupils is the result of an inappropriate curriculum. Rather, it reflects a deficiency of motivational and coping strategies perhaps not best dealt with in 'out-of-school' contexts.

Bibliographic note

This paper resulted from a relatively small scale project conducted jointly and equally by the authors (Rogers and Solomon). Authorship of the paper also resides equally with the two authors. The paper appears in a high quality international refereed journal. The project took a novel approach to the study of youth who are disaffected with aspects of their educational experience, drawing upon current motivational theory. The work developed a productive combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of particular note in the motivation field, characterised by a possible over-reliance on quantitative approaches. It moved thinking away from a narrow concern with curriculum design and developed an approach that emphasised the importance of personal agency and motivation. Policy implications have been referred to by other prominent researchers in this field, e.g. Professor Paul Croll and it continues to be cited as an important and unique contribution. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Education