17 SES 11, Timespacematters of Education: Re/Imagining time in schooling through places, materials and people (past_present_future) Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 17 SES 12
Today we witness a lack of historical educational studies aimed at investigating the origins of social acceleration, while a sociological/philosophical/literary literature highlighting how employment and management of time have profoundly changed is flourishing (Rifkin 1989; Sue 1994; Fusaro 2013; Rosa 2015; Harrison 2016). My paper will consider the question of when and to what extent the organisation of time has become a concern for educators and students from past to present. The measure of time, the way to make it pass faster or slower, its use for promoting efficiency in learning, the issue of free time, and how to deal with its (apparent) increase and shortage after the 1960s, will thereby form topics of reflection. To quote the scholar E. P. Thompson, one can see that "a general diffusion of clocks and watches (…)[was] occurring (as one would expect) at the exact moment when the industrial revolution demanded a greater synchronization of labor" (Thompson 1967, 69; Glennie e Thrift 2009, 214). Yet, the spread of clocks also occurred when the ruling classes became aware of the need for compulsory schooling organised in precise space/time units, classes, classrooms and lesson times (Rutschky 2015, 438). This regularity and consistency represents the transformation of school itself into a clockwork, where each pupil enters as if she/he were a gear in some machinery. Every student has to gain her/his rhythms and movements, silences and breaths. From that moment onwards buzzers and bells as well as timetables and schedules have constituted part of everyone’s school experience. At present, time devices are no longer simply calls or signals (the bell), but in contemporary education chronometers, computers, smartphones etc. become competition and evaluation tools to assess students' performance. A second focus of research will concern discernible forms of resistance and tensions between the drive to pursue the dictatorship of time and the resistance and attempts to slow down the learning processes and the school competition. For the analysis of time and education my research will be based on pedagogical literature, memoirs, narrative stories, teachers’ magazines, school programs, legislative regulations, and school policies, all analysed using theoretical and methodological approaches informed by studies in sociology, anthropology and philosophy of time. One of the paper's ambitions is to theoretically deepen the theme of Postmodernity, choosing as a point of observation the use of time and the transformations of temporal devices in education.
Fusaro, Diego. Essere senza tempo (Giunti, 2013). Glennie, Paul and Thrift Nigel. Shaping the Day: A History of Timekeeping in England and Wales 1300-1800. 1st ed. (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). Harrison, Robert Pogue. L’era della giovinezza: Una storia culturale del nostro tempo (Donzelli 2016). Rifkin, Jeremy. Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History (Simon and Schuster, 1989). Rosa, Hartmut. Accelerazione e alienazione: Per una teoria critica nella tarda modernità (Torino: Einaud, 2015). Rutschky, Katharina. Pedagogia nera: Fonti storiche dell’educazione civile (Mimesis, 2015). Sue, Roger. “Temps et ordre social (Paris: PUF, 1994) Available via http://www.hoepli.it/libro/il-tempo-in-frantumi/9788822053183.htm. Thompson, E. P. “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism.” Past & Present, no. 38 (1967): 56-97.
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