Building a capabilities framework with learners from high-poverty neighbourhoods
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Ward, S., Bynner, C. & Bianchi, V. (2021) Building a capabilities framework with learners from high-poverty neighbourhoods. In: Chapman, C. & Ainscow, M. (eds.) Educational Equity: Pathways to Success. London: Routledge, pp. 134-156.
Children and young people from high-poverty neighbourhoods are key stakeholders in the debate on improving educational practice and developing local capacity for sustainable change. However, they are rarely invited to participate in any consistent way. The capabilities approach (CA) is a philosophy that can help to focus our efforts to engage with and empower learners to contribute consistently to debates on policy and practice. Children and young people living in high-poverty neighbourhoods face significant barriers in relation to educational equity. Factors such as poor housing, food insecurity and ‘disadvantaged neighbourhood’ are associated with poor educational outcomes, as well as emotional and behavioural issues. The CA aims to address social justice concerns by generating dialogue on wellbeing with those who are directly experiencing inequalities. The result is a framework of wellbeing goals based on what each person has ‘reason to value’.