14 SES 05 B, Family Education and Parenting - Technological Aspects of School-Family-Community Partnerships
In this paper we will address the question of the use of a laptop - the Magalhães computer - from kids, and family mediation of these uses, in general and for schoolwork, paying attention to social class differences.
Our research - on the school and social uses and effects of the Magalhães computer in two administrative groups of schools in Portugal - originally aimed at finding answers to multiple questions, including: who uses the Magalhães computer? What are its uses? In what contexts? What are the modes of regulation of its uses? By whom? What are the effects, school and social, of its uses by the various social actors and their interactions? In particular, in the school-family relationship and in the classroom?
Some data point to the fact that the programme e.escolinha, that produced and distributed the Magalhães computer in 2008-2009 and the following school years, meant the democratization of access to these technologies (Silva & Diogo, 2011). It should be raised, however, the question of to what extent this democratization of access is being translated into a real democratization of uses, i.e., into a democratization of success on its use. We are interested in framing this issue through the question of social inequalities in the field of education, more specifically in the analysis of the relationship between school and family in the old and new processes of social and cultural (re)production (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1964; Lightfoot, 1978; Lareau, 1989; David, 1993; Vincent, 1996; Silva, 2003; Stoer & Silva, 2005; Van Zanten, 2005; Diogo, 2008). This is an issue of European (and broader) concern since computers and the internet are more and more spread, even though relatively little attention has been paid to the effects of social class (or other structural elements of social cleavage) on its uses by different social actors (such as children, families and teachers).
 The Magalhães computer is the result of a government policy that distributed a laptop specially conceived for elementary children, at a national level, for a very low price or even free for poor families. It was named after Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan), the Portuguese navigator who open the route to the navigation around the world in the 16th century.
Bourdieu, P. & Passeron, J.-C. (1964). Les Héritiers - Les Étudiants et la Culture, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit. David, M. (1993). Parents, Gender and Education Reform. Cambridge: Polity Press. Diogo, A. (2008). Investimento das Famílias na Escola – Dinâmicas Familiares e Contexto Escolar Local, Lisboa, Celta Editora. Diogo, A. & Silva, P. (2010). “Escola, Família e Desigualdades: Articulações e Caminhos na Sociologia da Educação em Portugal” in P. Abrantes (Org.) Tendências e Controvérsias em Sociologia da Educação. Lisboa, Mundos Sociais, 51-80. Diogo, A.; Gomes, C. & Barreto, A. (2011). O Computador Magalhães entre a Escola e a Família numa Escola Básica Integrada de Ponta Delgada: Um olhar sociológico sobre os seus efeitos - Relatório Final. Ponta Delgada, CES, Universidade dos Açores. Lareau, A. (1989). Home Advantage - Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education. New York: The Falmer Press. Lightfoot, S. (1978). Worlds Apart - Relationships Between Families and Schools, New York, Basic Books. Silva, P. (2003). Escola-Família, Uma Relação Armadilhada. Porto: Edições Afrontamento. Silva, P.; Coelho, C.; Fernandes, C. & Viana, J. (2011). O Computador Magalhães entre a Escola e a Família num Agrupamento de Escolas de Leiria: Um olhar sociológico sobre os seus efeitos - Relatório Final. Leiria, CIID, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria. Silva, P. & Diogo, A. (2011). “Usos do Computador Magalhães entre a Escola e a Família: sobre a apropriação de uma política educativa em duas comunidades escolares”, Arquipélago - Ciências da Educação, nº 12, 9-48. Stoer, S. & Silva, P. – Orgs. (2005). Escola-Família, Uma Relação em Processo de Reconfiguração, Porto, Porto Editora. Van Zanten, A. (2005). New Modes of Reproducing Social Inequality in Education: the changing role of parents, teachers, schools and educational policies, European Educational Research Journal, 4, Nº 3. Vincent, C. (1996) Parents and Teachers - Power and Participation, London: Falmer Press.
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