Consequences Of Student Alienation

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Alienation is a term used to describe student estrangement in the learning process (Brown, Higgins, and Paulsen, 2003). Mann (2001) defined alienation as the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved. Newmann (1981) identified four fundamental aspects of student alienation; powerlessness, normlessness, meaninglessness, and social isolation. Powerlessness refers to student perception of absence of personal control in learning. Normlessness reflects lack of appropriate rule-governed behavior (e.g., academic dishonesty). Meaninglessness describes alienated students’ interpretation of curriculum as irrelevant to their current and future needs. Loneliness and separation from peers and teachers characterizes social isolation.
Alienation is a useful construct for understanding the mechanisms associated with undesirable learner outcomes and in developing strategies to circumvent student academic failure (Redden, 2002; Taylor, 2000; Thorpe, 2003).
The causes of student alienation are multifaceted including curricular, institutional, and socio-cultural factors (Brown et al., 2003; Redden, 2002; Rokach, Bauer, and Oreck, 2003; Taylor, 2001; Trusty and Dooley-Dickey, 1993). Alienated students feel incongruent with curricula …show more content…

Alienated students experience an inability to cope with unfulfilled social and learning expectations. Mann (2001) interpreted alienation as a strategy of self-preservation. By refusing to engage in the processes of learning and by abandoning personal attempts to connect with curricula and with others, the sense of self is not threatened, safety is maintained and unity is preserved. The consequences to the learner, unfortunately, are absence of vitality and abandonment of the desire to

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