04 SES 01 E, Inclusion, Exclusion and Students 'Challenging Behaviour': Critical Perspectives
This paper analyses classroom practices such as the Responsible Thinking Concept (RTP)® in German comprehensive schooling as both measures of a decentralisation of the classroom setting and at the same time measures of individual disciplining of particular students. The hypothesis is that these actions, which are often used in schools that stick to an explicitly inclusive agenda with an emphasis on highly individualised teaching settings, reproduce structural discrimination in schooling.
Despite the fact that Germany committed itself to the UN-policy following the Salamanca-declaration, many schools did have an explicit inclusive agenda before. These mainly comprehensive schools worked and work with different models of in-class- and between-class differentiation. The underpinning idea is to avoid strategies of homogenisation by practising individualising teaching and learning settings to respond to both, the unique individuals’ needs and the universalistic approach of compulsory schooling. Therefore, a variety of educational programmes have been developed and implemented.
One example is the Responsible Thinking Concept® (Ford 2004) which has been broadly adopted in German schools (Bründel und Simon 2003): The students develop common classroom-rules. They agree to submit to these rules and if they offend, there will be number of consequences in a certain order. E.g. after three offenses, the students have to leave the classroom to go the “Responsible Thinking Classroom (RTC)”. “The RTC is where students go who need help in creating a plan that is designed to help them work through the problems they are having with following the rules and respecting others’ rights. Once they have arrived at the RTC, they should not be pressured into making a plan. That decision should come from them. Some might sit for a while, angry at themselves, but that’s acceptable.” Hence, the idea is that students recognise their individual responsibility for themselves and for the group (Budde 2014). It is them who need to learn about themselves as responsible individuals. It is not the classroom setting or the rules that are dispositional.
Thus, we find a strong emphasis of the individual as a self-reliant and self-transparent agent. This is converges with the concept of individualisation (Beck 2016) and subsequent approaches of individualised classroom management (Bönsch 2009; Bohl et al. 2012). However, looking at educational research that employs post-structural approaches (Foucault 1982, Butler 1997), this perspective needs to be problematised and hence the usage of those programmes and its practical implications should be questioned. Not only because the individual as an entity is questionable, but also because social disparities might not only be under-reflected, but might even be reproduced and stabilised. The individual is always addressed and hence recognised as someone with certain characteristics or features (Wischmann 2011). These do necessarily refer to social categories of differentiation. Hence, while addressing a student, there is always a prescription beyond the induvial. We argue that this ambivalent or even paradoxical structure of the programmes (and the practices following the programme) between (individualizing) subjectivity, (differentiating) social categories and (homogenizing) universalism undermine the idea of inclusion via individualisation (Budde et al. 2016). To show, how this actually happens, we will present some qualitative empirical data.
To analyse classroom practices such as the Responsible Thinking Concept (RTP)® and similar approaches in German classrooms, ethnographical research in comprehensive schools has been conducted (Hammersley und Atkinson 1997; Troman et al. 2005). This includes participating observations, interviews with students and document analysis. In this contribution, we will focus on the students experiences and reflections. The data was analysed by using the Grounded Theory Methodology (Strauss und Corbin 1996) through open and axial coding and systematic contrasting. The findings were combined into case studies. The analysis focused in particular on questions of school theory and difference theory.
The paper aims to show that individualisation in school is linked to a promise of a better inclusion. At the same time, however, new forms of inequality emerge by using social difference categories to describe students' individuality and subjectivity. For this reason, concepts such as Responsible Thinking Concept (RTP)® can lead to the intensification of inequalities, since pedagogical measures address the pupils as particular individuals, who each need specific offers. The marking of difference thus becomes the basis of acceptance. The (homogenising) class community is replaced by decentralisation. In this way, the responsibility for self-disciplining and self-regulation is transferred to the students.
Beck, Ulrich (2016): Risikogesellschaft. Auf dem Weg in eine andere Moderne.[Risk Society. Towards a new modernity.] 23. Auflage. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Bohl, Thorsten; Bönsch, Manfred; Trautmann, Matthias; Wischer, Beate (Hg.) (2012): Binnendifferenzierung. 1. Didaktische Grundlagen und Forschungsergebnisse zur Binnendifferenzierung im Unterricht. [Internal Differentiation. Didactic fundaments and research results.] Immenhausen: Prolog. Bohl, Thorsten; Budde, Jürgen; Rieger-Ladich, Markus (Hg.) (2017): Umgang mit Heterogenität in Schule und Unterricht. Grundlagentheoretische Beiträge und didaktische Reflexionen. [Dealing with Heterogeneity. Theoretical Contributions and Didactical Reflections.] 1. Aufl. Bad Heilbrunn, Bad Heilbrunn: UTB; Klinkhardt, Julius. Bönsch, Manfred (2009): Erfolgreicheres Lernen durch Differenzierung im Unterricht. [Succesful Learning through Internal Differentiation in the Classroom.] Braunschweig: Westermann. Bründel, Heidrun; Simon, Erika (2003): Die Trainingsraum-Methode. Umgang mit Unterrichtsstörungen: klare Regeln, klare Konsequenzen. [The RCT-Method. Dealing with Disturbance: Clear Rules, clear Consequences.] Weinheim: Beltz (Beltz-Praxis). Online verfügbar unter http://www.gbv.de/dms/hebis-darmstadt/toc/114277087.pdf. Budde, Jürgen (2014): Ausweitung aktueller Professionalisierungsanforderungen am Beispiel der Analyse des Trainingsraum-Konzepts in Lehrforschungsprojekten. [Extension of current professionalization requirements by using the example of the training room concept (RCT) in teaching research projects.] In: Zeitschrift für qualitative Forschung 14 (1+2), S. 207–227. Budde, Jürgen; Kansteiner, Katja; Bossen, Andrea (2016): Zwischen Differenz und Differenzierung. Erziehungswissenschaftliche Forschung zu Mono- und Koedukation. [Between Difference and Differentiation. Educational Research on Mono- and Co-Education.] Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Butler, Judith (1997): The psychic life of power. Theories in subjection. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. Ford, Edward E. (2004): Discipline for home and school. Fundamentals. Scottsdale, AZ: Brandt Publ. Foucault, Michel (1982): The Subject and Power. In: Critical Inquiry 8 (4), S. 777-795. DOI: 10.1086/448181. Hammersley, Martyn; Atkinson, Paul (1997): Ethnography. Principles in practice. 2. ed., reprinted. London: Routledge. Strauss, Anselm; Corbin, Juliet (1996): Grounded Theory. Grundlagen Qualitativer Forschung. Weinheim: Psychologie Verlags Union. Troman, Geoff; Jeffrey, Bob; Walford, Geoffrey (2005): Methodological issues and practices in ethnography. Amsterdam: Elsevier (Studies in educational ethnography, 11). Wischmann, Anke (2011): Processes of Bildung among socially marginalized young people in Germany. In: Hudson, B./Meyer, M. (Ed.): Beyond Fragmentation. Didactics, Learning and Teaching. Barbara Budrich: Opladen/Farmington Hills, S. 367-378.
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