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'My life is like a massive jigsaw with pieces missing'. How 'lower-attaining' children experience school in terms of their well-being

Buchanan, D; Hargreaves, E; Quick, L; (2021) 'My life is like a massive jigsaw with pieces missing'. How 'lower-attaining' children experience school in terms of their well-being. Education 3-13 , 49 (8) pp. 1000-1012. 10.1080/03004279.2020.1818269. Green open access

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Abstract

‘Lower-attaining’ children are known to encounter negative experiences in school, including experiencing feelings of upset, shame and inferiority. Using extensive interview and observation data from the first two years of a five-year longitudinal study of 23 ‘lower-attaining’ children (age 7–9), we draw on Seligman’s theory of well-being to identify the children’s experiences of school in terms of their emotions, relationships and sense of achievement. Our analysis finds that on balance, these children are experiencing threats to their well-being in relation to their perceived lack of attainment and its associated shame, in an increasingly performative educational culture. We conclude that such threats are hampering the well-being of these children, which may cause both immediate and longer-term damage.

Type: Article
Title: 'My life is like a massive jigsaw with pieces missing'. How 'lower-attaining' children experience school in terms of their well-being
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2020.1818269
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/03004279.2020.1818269
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Well-being, lower-attaining children, mental health, performative educational culture, Martin Seligman
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109701
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