ERG SES D 08, Parallel Session D 08
This paper draws on one year of ethnographic fieldwork in a suburban, multiethnic Swedish secondary school. It explores student responses to a teaching programme building on ideas and values from an American organisation for school leadership (School Leadership Academy at the Centre of Educational Innovation) and the educational philosophy of Lorraine Monroe. The programme is marketed as a form of affirmative action and as a means by which to save schools and pupils in poor, urban and suburban areas from underachievement. It uses a form of pedagogy with strong discipline and leadership to achieve its aims and might be defined as a ”saviour discourse”. That is, ”a composite of rhetorics, claims, allusions, promises, and jargon borrowed from business, educational research and political and policy ideas … that promises to save schools, leaders, teachers and students from failure, from the terrors of uncertainty, from the confusions of policy and (perhaps above all) from themselves … ” (Ball 2007, p 146). The programme claims to solve a number of school problems, ranging from poor motivation and achievement to lack of discipline and misconduct.
In the paper I explore the various ways that students have responded to the emphasis on the pedagogy and strong leadership, discipline and individual achievement used in the classroom. The responses noted have been those of conformity, accommodation, colonisation, innovation, resistance and ambivalence (after Woods, 1979, quoted in Furlong, 1985). Issues of place and space and the students’ experiences as part of a stigmatised and marginalised migrant population in a satellite suburb have also been focussed on.
Ball, S. J. (2007). Education plc. Understanding Private Sector Participation in Public Sector Education. London: Routledge. Furlong, V. J. (1985). The Deviant Pupil: Sociological Perspectives. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Sernhede, O. (2009) Territoriell stigmatisering, ungas informella lärande och skolan i det postindustriella samhället [Territorial stigmatisation, young people’s informal learning and schoola in post-industrial society]. Utbildning och demokrati, 18(1), 7-32.
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