UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Re-engagement in learning contexts : negotiations between adults and youths in the zone of proximal development Vellos, Renira Elyodi


Framed by sociocultural theory, this study used participant observations and active interviews to examine the classroom practices of adults and youths at one alternative high school. Constant comparative analysis and a participation framework used as a heuristic device to organize data foregrounded the social and discursive practices that both were constituted by and constitutive of an engaging learning context. This study advances a sociocultural model for engagement based on the community of difference that youths and adults co-constructed. It highlights the key role of adults and other mediational means in mediating relationships that promote engaging learning contexts. Though alternative high schools are symptomatic of the contradictions inherent in the process of schooling, for the adults and youths who participate in them, they are often rich learning communities.

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