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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Beng Huat See

Gorard, S. & See, B.H. (2011). How can we enhance enjoyment of secondary school? The student view. British Educational Research Journal 37(4): 671-690.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper considers enjoyment of formal education for young people aged 14 to 16, largely from their own perspective, based on the view of around 3000 students in England. The data include documentary analysis, official statistics, interviews and surveys with staff and students. Enjoyment of school tends to be promoted by factors such as successful social relationships, small classes, variation in learning and students having some control of their learning. Enjoyment tends to be inhibited by perceived lack of respect or concern by teaching staff and passive pedagogy. For some disengaged students, a work or college environment with more adult relationships appears to restore enjoyment and enthusiasm. Enjoyment, unlike attainment, for example, is not particularly stratified by the standard student background variables. Nor is there evidence of a clear school effect. This means that enjoyment should be easy to enhance more widely, positively affecting the learner identities of all young people, including the more reluctant learners.