25 SES 11, Civil Disobedience, Teachers' and Children’s Views
Inspired by the call from Maxine Greene (1977) for a 'wide awakeness' to matters of social justice in education, this presentation reports on a doctoral study conducted in Australia which explored educators' perceptions of cultural wellbeing in classroom communities.
One of the goals of schooling in Australia, as in many other countries, is to increase equity and reduce socioeconomic disadvantage through the school system (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008). In this presentation I argue that this goal is revealed to be a phantasm (Foucault, 1977) through a series of processes, the workings of which are shaped out in a recent doctoral study exploring the concept of cultural wellbeing with Australian teachers (Emery, forthcoming).There is little empirical research or educational theory specifically addressing the concept of cultural wellbeing in the field of schooling, and this study begins to address this research gap through a constructivist grounded theory study based on interviews conducted with educators in Australian schools. This study approaches the exploration of cultural wellbeing through seeking to understand teachers' perceptions of the contributions of culture, variously interpreted, to wellbeing.
The research is positioned from a social constructionist epistemology, which assumes that people construct knowledge through daily interactions in the course of social life (Burr, 2015). I draw upon poststructural theories to explore teachers' meanings and practices of cultural wellbeing through interviews conducted with educators and teachers across a range of social locations. The study problematises a series of (possibly) unintended effects which together render an education system which I argue reinforces and widens existing patterns of social inequality and potentially is part of the machinery of growing cultural ill being.
This paper addresses the research question how do educators' perceptions of cultural wellbeing reveal broader social justice issues at work in classroom communities?
The research design employed an innovative methodology which combined constructivist grounded theory and situational analysis. Data was generated through interviews with educators, participant observation and the researcher’s memos. Methods included theoretical sampling, constant comparison of data, and situational mapping to support the data analysis. Data were sourced from interviews conducted with educators across a range of education settings, as well as by participant observation in school classroom communities. The data for this study was gathered by conducting individual interviews with 21 educators between the period of January 2015 and January 2017. Processes of constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) were combined with analytical tools of situational analysis (Clarke, 2005) to enable the interrogation of power relations underpinning educators’ perceptions of cultural wellbeing and their support for cultural wellbeing in their classroom communities. Situational mapping, social worlds/arenas mapping, and positional mapping (Clarke, 2005) were employed in the analysis to surface interrogate the findings of the study at different ranges.
Findings of the study, though tentative, indicated that the concept of cultural wellbeing was new to educators. Culture was a concept which educators interpreted in multiple and fluid ways, and was a concept some found difficult to speak about, due to problematic political undertones which largely stemmed from racial and classed interpretations of the term ‘cultural'. The findings further revealed that educators made meaning of cultural wellbeing in ways that drew upon three main interpretations of culture. Analysis of educators' interpretations of culture employed in the meanings they made of cultural wellbeing became the basis for a three-part typology of cultural wellbeing related to: 1. the school culture, 2. recognition of students and how they identify as human, and 3. cultural participation, expression and production. Some educators’ perceptions of cultural wellbeing conveyed a children’s rights orientation and the concept of cultural wellbeing was championed as supporting the rights of students to cultural beliefs, cultural identities and cultural expression. Classroom communities, the sites of interest in this study were revealed through educators’ perceptions of cultural wellbeing to be spaces of cultural negotiation in liquid modern education settings (Bauman,2005). The discussion engages with the complexity of classroom communities where educators' perceptions of cultural wellbeing appear to be conditioned by neoliberal logics of accountability.
Bauman, Z. (2005). Liquid life. [electronic resource]. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Burr, V. (2015). Social constructionism (3rd Ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Clarke, A. E. (2005). Situational analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Emery, S. (forthcoming). Cultural wellbeing in classroom communities: A constructivist grounded theory study. Unpublished Doctoral thesis. University of Tasmania. Foucault, M. (1977). Theatre Philosophicum, in D. Bouchard (ed.) Language Counter-Memory, Practice, Oxford: Blackwell. Greene, M. (1977). Toward wide-awakeness: An argument for the arts and humanities in education. Teachers College Record, 79(1), 119-125. Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. (2008). Melbourne declaration on educational goals for young Australians. Melbourne: MCEETYA. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-93985
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.