Endogenous assets-mapping: a new approach to conceptualizing assets in order to understand young people’s capabilities and how these relate to their desired educational outcomes in disadvantaged neighbourhoods

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Asset-based approaches to public service reform suggest a need for policymakers to shift attention from ‘fixing’ the perceived deficits of disadvantaged neighbourhoods, to recognising and building on the resources, or assets, they hold. However, these approaches have also been critiqued for interpreting assets so broadly that they effectively become meaningless, or so narrowly that they perpetuate deficit views. To counter these tendencies, a new conceptually and methodologically robust endogenous assets-mapping approach is proposed. This has been designed to enable nuanced insights into the assets young people living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods may draw upon to pursue positive educational and wider life outcomes. The approach’s utility is illustrated through the case of Ayesha, a 14 year old student with a difficult relationship with school. The paper concludes that an endogenous assets-mapping approach can help to generate more positive narratives for vulnerable learners living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, than schooling may typically enable.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022