ERIC Number: EJ1129894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Insights into the Shifting Perspectives of Members of the Gypsy and Traveller Community on Schooling, and Implications for School Leaders
Smith, Anna R. T.
Management in Education, v31 n1 p14-20 Jan 2017
This article focuses on the perceptions and experiences of education of two female adult members of the Gypsy and Traveller community and one female adult member of the settled community who works closely with Travellers. Narrative interviews were conducted in England in 2016, to gain some understanding of the factors contributing to the persistently relatively low educational outcomes of Travellers. Data were analysed in accordance with the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Findings suggest that traditional cultural aspects of the Traveller community strongly influence attitudes to education and whether formal education is accessed. Whilst there are indications that negative perceptions of formal schooling have been entrenched in the Traveller community, this research found that attitudes to education may be slowly changing, particularly with younger generations. This largely stems from a recognition of the need for a level of formal education and qualifications owing to changes in the availability of traditional forms of employment for Travellers. Nonetheless, it emerged that deeply rooted negative views about formal schooling remain, particularly with regard to the perceived dangers and safety concerns associated with secondary schools. There are far-reaching implications for school leaders. Pivotal to this is a need for schools to be fully inclusive to ensure that the cultural needs of Gypsies and Travellers are met, particularly since the Traveller Education Service (TES) has been vastly reduced. For this to be possible, educators, school leaders and governors require a deeper understanding of the culture of the Gypsy and Traveller community, which should inform proactively inclusive policies, procedures and practices in formal educational settings. This might encourage more Travellers to engage with and remain in formal education, at primary and secondary school and beyond, and could also help foster positive relationships with local communities.
Descriptors: Minority Groups, Migrants, Educational Attainment, Females, Adults, Interviews, Foreign Countries, Educational Attitudes, Employment, Employment Qualifications, Negative Attitudes, School Safety, Secondary Schools, Inclusion, Cultural Awareness, Educational Policy, Qualitative Research, Personal Narratives, Phenomenology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A