This is a unique and exciting book that challenges traditional conceptions of middle years provision. It should be read by policy-makers, educators and researchers alike.' Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield Carrington's analysis of contemporary youth and the lives that they bring to school is significant. This stage of education is fundamental to understanding how we might engage learners, and her sensitive and insightful analysis makes a major contribution to our understandings about how these years resonate with their needs and interests.' Professor Nicola Yelland, Victoria University Despite two decades of research and reform, schools across the Western world still struggle to engage their students in the middle years. But does this mean there is a youth crisis? And what do technology and risk have to do with it? Victoria Carrington argues for the need to move beyond developmentally based models to see middle years pedagogy in historical, social, economic and political contexts. Setting research from Australia alongside international experience, she emphasises the importance of understanding the risk society, and young peoples' immersion in digital technologies and consumer culture. She shows how teachers and schools can use this understanding to work more effectively with early adolescents, and how policy-makers and education leaders could reshape the middle years reform agenda to improve professional practice and student outcomes.