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Supplementary Schools: Sites of Social Capital?

Patterson, Valerie; (2019) Supplementary Schools: Sites of Social Capital? Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This research explores the potential of supplementary education to generate social capital for children and young people, focusing on three supplementary schools in an urban locality in England. The study builds on research that examines the impact of supplementary education on pupils’ attainment and goes on to explore the wider benefits of supplementary education for parents and pupils. It focuses on the generation of social capital through bonding, bridging and linking opportunities provided through the supplementary schools. It is set in the context of an age of performativity, discussed in Chapter 2.5, where the dominant values in today’s schooling, especially under the influence of hyperaccountability, emphasise individualism (Watkins et al, 2007). The thesis is written through a social constructionist perspective, which contends that our understanding of the world is constructed and reconstructed on a daily basis through social interactions with other people (Burr 1995, p.3). Social identities and inequalities are thus not fixed but fluid and subject to the social world in which they exist. Spaces, for example, educational spaces, become “fundamental in any exercise of power” (Foucault 2001, p.361). This is a qualitative study, a multiple case study including participant observation and semi-structured interviews with current and past pupils, staff and parents. I argue that supplementary schools provide learning spaces where the combination of friendship, resources and informality create an optimum social environment for learning. Opportunities are created in these bonded spaces for bridging to people and organisations in wider society and to a lesser extent linking to further progression opportunities. The study argues that terms such as bonding, bridging and linking cannot be seen as discrete. It identifies progression capital as a form of capital that supports pupils and parents to extend their cultural capital. The study contends that supplementary schools may constitute an important form of social capital. Through their enactment of different forms of knowledge they are institutions, echoing Foucault, through which power passes (Foucault 2001, p.356). By instituting their own sites of power, parents are able to exercise agency and develop schools which have the ability to disrupt systematic disadvantage and in this way can be seen as transformative.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: Supplementary Schools: Sites of Social Capital?
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085052
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