Understanding Children and Youth At Risk - Narratives of Hope Understanding Children and Youth At Risk - Narratives of Hope
Edited by Carmel Borg & Colin Calleja

This book looks at education as an important institution of civil society and a contested terrain. It strives to unravel the challenging reality of economic, cultural, structural and pedagogical exclusion.

Within this work, 'at risk' is situated at the interface of economic, social, community and family situations, genuine learning difficulties and incompatible learning styles and patterns with academic achievement.

Some of the questions dealt with by the authors of the ten chapters include: How far are educational systems democratic? How are students' experiences and ways of producing knowledge 'othered' by education systems in general and classroom experiences in particular? Do children and youth really 'drop-out' of education systems? Is punishment, particularly exclusion from school, contributing to better schools? Who is being excluded, and what happens to children once they are excluded? Are practices that glorify content, compartementalise knowledge and assess summatively adequately addressing the needs of children and youth at risk?What are the main characteristics of educational processes that "unlock the will to learn"? What are the distinguishing features of a genuinely inclusive education system?

This volume is a resource book for educators, administrators and policy makers interested in promoting social justice through education. The book strikes a balance between the language of critique and that of possibility. Reflection and action are welded together into a praxial experience that defeats fatalism, cynicism and paralysis. At a time where managerialism is informing many educational systems, this book reminds us that education should serve children and youth more than it serves politicians, educational authorities and economists.