Understanding early school leaving: A narrative research approach

Document Type



VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG

Place of Publication

Saarbrucken, Germany


Faculty of Regional Professional Studies


School of Regional Professional Studies / Centre for Sustainable Regional Futures




Originally published as : Hodgson, D. (2008). Understanding early school leaving : A narrative research approach. Saarbrucken: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & KG

ISBN 9783639020700


What goes on in the lives of secondary students at the time when they leave school early, that is, before they complete their compulsory years? What contribution can a narrative research approach make to how we might understand this issue? These are the main questions that this monograph grapples with.Early school leaving is a phenomenon within many schools around the world, and yet the reasons why some students leave school early are complex, varied, and recalcitrant to simple interventions.Based on research conducted as part of a Masters study, this monograph describes the stories, struggles and experiences of a group of boys aged 14 - 16 as they journeyed out of school. Using a reflexive narrative research approach, the study aimed to uncover and give voice to the students themselves; to bring to life their thoughts and feelings about school and their post-school futures.This monograph will be of interest to anyone concerned with understanding early school leaving from the perspective of students, as well as those interested in reading about the possibilities of using narrative research as a way of researching early school leaving.

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