Welcome to the website of the Identity and Learning Programme.

In the late 1980s, parallel ethnographies were started in two primary schools, with samples of learners aged 4 and 5 years old. Greenside Primary served an affluent suburban area where incomes were generated from professional or senior business roles. At Albert Park, a more working class area of the same city, parental occupations were predominantly classified as skilled-manual. As the children progressed through their primary schools, there were opportunities to study the social influences on their learning, their careers and identities, and the influence of assessment practices.

Subsequently, at age 11, the children from the two cohorts transferred to no less than nine secondary schools – reflecting the existence of a quasi-market in the city. These encompassed local and distant comprehensives, an LEA grammar school, a city technology college, a church school and three independent schools. The diversity of secondary school choices, experiences and outcomes provided a particular opportunity to focus on processes of social differentiation in relation to social class and gender.

The resources on this site will enable you to access a wide range of material from the ILP and to see how some key ideas generated by this longitudinal ethnographic programme are being developed in the context of the ESRC’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme.

Andrew Pollard, London, 1st November 2005