University Of Tasmania

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Interest, learning, and belonging in flexible learning programmes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 01:05 authored by Kitty te RieleKitty te Riele, Plows, V, Bottrell, D
This paper expounds a dynamic understanding of interest, including cognitive and affective dimensions. This conceptualization of interest is applied to findings from research in two flexible learning settings that provided access to foundation-level credentials for young people who, for whatever reason, had disengaged from or sought alternatives to traditional schooling models. The discussion of findings begins with an outline of how interest played out in the two programmes, before examining how interest was related to learning and to belonging. In relation to learning, interest acts as a motivator, draws on short- and long-term goal relevance, and enhances academic achievement. In relation to belonging, interest serves to build in-group connections through shared identity, but also acts as a platform for launching enhanced connections with the wider community. We conclude that interest is about more than curriculum relevance for individuals, and holds significance for both learning and belonging. This may inform approaches to education not only in flexible learning programmes but also in conventional schools.


Publication title

International Journal on School Disaffection








Peter Underwood Centre


Trentham Books Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 UCL Institute of Education Press

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Equity and access to education