Educating on the margins: young people's insights into effective alternative education

Kristin Reimer, Luci Pangrazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Like many countries, Australia has persistent rates of school exclusion, juvenile offending and recidivism. In response, there has been a growth of ‘alternative education’ provision – interventions that support young people to engage with learning opportunities outside the conventional education system. While alternative education programs educate more than 70,000 students each year across Australia, evidence of their effectiveness is lacking. There is a need to expand understandings of how alternative education provision works in practice, and what models best fit the complex needs of different groups of young people. This paper reports on Out Teach Mobile Education – an individualised alternative education program run by Save the Children, Tasmania. This unique program, operating out of a van, aims to engage young people, who have been involved with the criminal justice system, in further education and employment opportunities. In the paper, the young people involved identify how and why they believe the program works. The young people's perspectives provide valuable understandings of how ‘meaningful education’ in one specific program looks to the individuals involved. The article concludes by arguing that an authentic assessment of alternative education programs must include the voices of the young people whose lives these programs are aimed at improving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-495
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Alternative education
  • disadvantaged youth
  • flexible education
  • inclusive education
  • social justice and education

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