Inspire to aspire: raising aspirational outcomes through a student well-being curricular focus

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Wrench, A, Hammond, C, McCallum, F & Price, D 2012, 'Inspire to aspire: raising aspirational outcomes through a student well-being curricular focus', International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 17, no. 9, pp. 932-947.

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Australian Government policy initiatives to increase young peoples' participation in higher education are pursued in this paper. It argues that pedagogy and curriculum have a direct influence on student engagement. The interrelationships between pedagogical practices, curriculum based on a well-being framework, and the shaping of subjectivities and aspirations of young people in a region characterised by socio-economic challenge are explored. This 2-year case study used action research by university academics, school-based teachers and school students in an R-12 school in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. Findings drawn from narratives, field notes, student work samples and professional conversations, situate well-being as central to young people's self-awareness of their aspirations. The themes of: Pedagogies and learning activities; Relationships, caring and connections, and; Places, spaces and belonging help to arrange the argument that concludes that young people living in low socio-economic areas do have aspirations for the future. Furthermore, the educational implications highlight the significance of the role of the teacher within the social and emotional domains which connect student life-worlds within their particular contexts, building cultural capital and broadening capabilities, self-awareness, aspirations and achievement.