04 SES 14 B, The Interplay between ‘Systemic Risks’ and Day to Day Practices of Teachers and Parents in the Context of Inclusive Education
In contrast to other European school systems the ones in the German speaking countries are characterized by tracking pupils from the average age of 10 years on. The tracking is based on (expected) achievement, which correlates significantly with the socio-economic background of the students’ families. The idea of inclusive education is – from a structural point of view – in contradiction to the existing school system. While policy makers promote the idea of inclusive education, they do not question the idea of a tracked school system. The streaming of pupils makes it necessary for teachers to constantly monitor, to grade and compare them with given standards as well as with one another in order to proof, if each pupil is still in the ‘correct track’. The implementation of inclusive education in the given school system is based on an understanding of teaching students with/out special educational needs together. The day-to-day teaching practice of teachers develops within these given structures and expectations. The qualitative study “Construction of differences in teaching practice” focusses on the question of how differences are constructed in interactions and the day-to-day practice in classrooms and how dis/advantages for (specific) groups of students are being spawned with that. The study is anchored in the meta-theoretical framework of the sociology of knowledge, developed by Karl Mannheim (1980). The methodology distinguishes between explicit and implicit or incorporated forms of knowledge. While the first one is founded in theoretical thinking and meaning that refers to common-sense, the latter one is implicit or ‘tacit’ knowledge. It is the aim of the study to reconstruct the incorporated knowledge of teachers. The documentary method approaches practical knowledge based on narratives and descriptions of the teachers’ day-to-day practice in the classroom (Bohnsack, 2010). Key results from 30 group interviews with teachers who work in different schools (e.g. primary/secondary; rural/urban; high/low socio-economic background of students) show that achievement differences are dominating the teaching practice. They are ascribed to the students individually, in a hierarchical way (better/worse) and go along with discrimination as well as lack of learning opportunities, mostly for the ‘weak(er)’ students. The latter are mainly addressed as non-achievers who do not participate in the competitive idea of academic achievement.
Bohnsack, R. (2010). Rekonstruktive Sozialforschung. Einführung in qualitative Methoden (8., ed.). Opladen & Farmington Hills, MI: Budrich. Mannheim, K. (1980). Strukturen des Denkens. Frankfurt/Main: suhrkamp.
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