Time Space Paths in Alternative Educational Settings: A Comparative Analysis of Finland and Australia
The Finnish data consists of three group interviews with the staff as well as 23 biographical one-off interviews with 11 girls and 12 boys that were conducted during autumn 2008 in three Helsinki based special education programs targeted for 15 to 17 year olds. The Australian data consists of 50 interviews with program staff and seven biographical interviews conducted 3 times throughout 2012 (21 interviews in total) with five females and two males aged between 13 and 16 years in alternative education settings in metropolitan and regional areas in Victoria.
Gordon et al (2000) make the distinction in mainstream schools between official school (tight time space paths) and informal school (loose time space paths). The development of positive relationships (often through loose time space paths) is a key to keeping the young people engaged but the young people need more than this to experience educational success, something they have not been able to achieve in mainstream settings. We discuss therefore how the alternative educational settings provide a mixture of tight and loose time space paths that meet the life style needs of the young people and assist with providing them a successful renegotiated educational future.