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This paper examines the value of a recovery theory framework for understanding the practices employed by teachers at Flexible Learning Option (FLO) schools. Recovery theory is a psychological framework with an empowerment focus that looks to assist people to live a satisfying, contributing and hopeful life. Key elements of the recovery theory framework include an emphasis on connectedness, hope and optimism, identity, meaning in life and empowerment [Anthony, W. A. 1993. ‘Recovery from mental illness: the guiding vision of the mental health service system in the 1990’s.’ Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal 16: 11–23]. This framework has been used to examine interview data gathered through an Australian Research Council Linkage Project with staff and students across a range of Australian FLOs, to better understand ‘what works’ in relation to achieving positive well-being outcomes for students in the FLO environment. Results of the study demonstrate that students respond positively to the use of key elements of the recovery framework. Thus, use of the recovery framework might have wider implications for guiding the work of schools in supporting young people at risk of disengagement.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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