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Inside Teaching : June 2010
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org RESEARCH 39 out to have a dialogue with schools about the conditions that promote school retention and student engagement in a context of educational disadvantage. We spent two weeks in each school and conducted 71 formal interviews (individual and group) varying in length from 30 to 90 minutes and amounting to 50 hours overall. Those interviewed included a regional director of education, four principals, seven deputy or assistant principals, 16 managers or heads of departments, 22 teachers, a school psychologist, five parents, 15 students, and an industry manager. The research also involved tours of the schools and community projects, informal conversations with staff, and 12 hours of participant observation of classroom teaching, staff, faculty and leadership team meetings, school assemblies and a parent information evening. Field notes and transcripts were supplemented with a photographic record of our time in the schools and information obtained from school newsletters, curriculum documents and school plans. Making inroads into protracted issues of under-participation in education for the most marginalised involves developing a unique set of relationships not only with young people but also with the communities they come from. The chapters scaffold this theme as follows.