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How do school actors deal with “early school leaving”? A French-German comparison about the interpretations and usages of a political watchword

Abstract : This thesis questions the interpretation of a political watchword aiming at reducing « early school leaving ». This research addresses the formulation and dessimination of this problem through the analysis of French and German political programmatic at different levels of the educational governance and which give school actors a crucial responsibility in fighting it. So the second aspect of this research is to highlight the perceptions that these actors have of this responsibility through questioning their understanding of the problem, embedded in the narrative of the “knowledge society”, economically “more competitive” and socially “more cohesive”. At the edge of the year 2020 (the horizon of the Europe 2020 Strategy that continues on the former « Lisbon strategy ») this thesis discusses the influence of the European Union on shaping domestic educational agendas, from the national level to even the principals’. But more specifically, it allows to highlight the structural, institutional and individual filters through which this issue is interpreted, which lead to different interpretations of the reality and usages. How far do the school actors perceive their responsibility in fighting against “early school leaving”? How do they identify their capacity to make the difference while facing some of their students’ problems and difficulties that might influence their school trajectory negatively? Finally, how, on the whole, the school actors taken in all their diversity, tend to blame the school, the individual student and their environment or political choices for their early dropout or “negative participation”, which sometimes leads schools to exclude the troublemakers? What legitimacy does this fight have in their eyes, in the light of the historical and selective nature of the French and German educational systems, and considering recent discourses that are alarmed regarding the expansion of tertiary education? Fighting against “early school leaving” and worrying about the “invasion” of the university, this sounds at first sight strange and contradictory! This thesis tries to grasp the whys and wherefores of this political fight in the name of better “equal opportunities” in and by school by analysing the perceptions of the actors in charge of realising them.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 5:03:11 PM
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Célia Barrez. How do school actors deal with “early school leaving”? A French-German comparison about the interpretations and usages of a political watchword. Political science. Université Rennes 1; Eberhard-Karls-Universität, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020REN1G013⟩. ⟨tel-03659230⟩



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