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Dropping out/dropping back in: Matters that make learning matter

  • Anna Lund (a1) and Mats Trondman (a2)

Nearly one in three students living in the segregated, multicultural city of Malmö, Sweden, fails to finish school with a completed diploma. To remedy this situation, students can attend introductory programs, but only some students who do so end up with a diploma. The aim of this article is to understand why young people from a migration background drop out of secondary school and why some of them drop back in and become school achievers. We explore what makes learning matter among youth who drop back into schooling. In seeking possible answers to this question, we listened to and learned from the students themselves. We hope readers will learn about the elementary forms of an enabling opportunity structure for school achievement, about the significance of relational capital, and about the deeply associated meanings of family and friendship and their importance to school success. The article is framed by the interdependencies of two conditioned temporalities: the temporality of the past — that is, the dropping-out process — and the temporality of the present, that is, the dropping-back-in process. We argue that school failure is not an inevitable phenomenon, and show that young people who are supported to drop back into schooling can discover that they are capable of learning with passion and perseverance.

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Queensland Review
  • ISSN: 1321-8166
  • EISSN: 2049-7792
  • URL: /core/journals/queensland-review
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