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Overview and aims
Laddishness and self-worth protection
ESRC Award number: RES-000-27-0041
This research project was part of a larger programme of work funded by the ESRC Research Fellowship Scheme.
Concerns about ‘laddish’ cultures in schools are pervasive. Evidence that ‘laddish’ anti-learning and/or anti-school approaches are impeding some boys’ progress in school has emerged from the work of many educational researchers, both in the UK and overseas. Although research suggests that ‘laddish’ cultures foster anti-learning attitudes, it has not been clear why some boys so readily adopt ‘laddish’ behaviours. Without understanding boys’ motives for adopting ‘laddish’ behaviours, it is not possible to challenge them successfully. This research extended my previous study (Jackson, 2003) and explored the motives underpinning boys’ ‘laddish’, anti-school attitudes and the ways in which teachers might begin to challenge and change them.
The study also explored girls’ relationships to ‘laddishness’; this exploration is both novel and important. Despite anecdotal evidence from teachers and parents that girls are adopting ‘laddish’ behaviours, and reports in the media about ‘unruly’ schoolgirl ‘ladettes’, there had been no research on girls and ‘laddishness’. My research explored whether some schoolgirls are adopting ‘laddish’ attitudes and behaviours (becoming ‘ladettes’), and if they are, what the consequences might be in terms of educational experiences and outcomes.
Project aims and objectives
Aims - to:
Objectives – to address four main questions.
The project involved year 9 pupils in six schools (four co-educational, two single-sex) completing three questionnaires, and interviews with a sub-sample of approximately 25 pupils and five teachers in each school (a total of 153 pupil and 30 teacher interviews).
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