From pupils' detachment to disengagement and then to failure

Dichotomies such us success/failure, retention/dropping out etc. may have the virtue of the simplification of some questions, as well as allow spatial and temporal comparisons, but they also present the shortcoming of disdaining details and nuances, as the spectrum of performances, attitudes and responses of pupils in school is, to be true, immensely more rich and diverse. On the one side, it artificially creates a divide where before there were major but maybe minor differences, perhaps simply occasional and probably misunderstood and misestimated. On the other side, it hides the growing detachment of pupils with respect to school culture and demands. In any case, it makes manifest the institution's drift towards simplifications and categorizations, overcoming the rhetoric around teaching diversification and learning personalization.

school failure; drop out; student motivation

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