This title addresses the tension between high achievement and popularity in secondary schools, exploring the sociological impact of this in the lives of young people. How do some students manage to excel in their studies and be popular while other high achievers are treated as social outcasts? This lively and accessible text looks at the relationships between gender, race and social class, and attainment and popularity, for high achieving pupils. The internationally renowned authors present a lucid theoretical framework that reflects the complexity of these issues, placing them within the broader context of the policies which cause and constrain particular behaviours among teachers and pupils. The authors draw together empirical data, bringing the realities of young people to life and presenting the lessons that can be learnt to enhance the educational achievement of all students. Issues covered include: the social consequences for the 'too hardworking'; the tension between high achievement and popularity; and, the classroom practices adopted by pupils accomplishing popularity and high achievement.
This is an engaging text for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students exploring the debates on identity and achievement.
Christine Skelton is Professor of Gender Equality in Education at University of Birmingham, UK. Barbara Read is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Education, Roehampton University, UK. Becky Francis is Director of Education at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), UK, and Visiting Professor at King's College London, UK, and Roehampton University, UK.
Introduction; 1. The Policy Context: Educational 'standards' and human capital; 2. Conceptualising High Achievement: Theoretical perspectives on social identity and achievement; 3. Enabling High Achievement: The shared practices of high achieving pupils; 4. 'Boffins and Geeks': The social consequences for young people constructed as 'too hardworking'; 5. The Challenge of 'Balance': Anxieties concerning the tension between high achievement and popularity; 6. High Achieving and Popular: The ideal neoliberal subject?; 7. The Classroom Practices Adopted by Pupils Accomplishing Popularity and High Achievement; 8. Implications for Schools; Index.