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Democratic Education? Working Class Boys’ Possibilities to Influence within a Vehicle Programme and the Future
University of Borås, School of Education and Behavioural Science.
2013 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Sustainable development
The content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to explore how young people act and the organisation of school practice, and what possibilities they have of influencing the content and the forms practiced. The study focuses on how the pedagogic practice is organised in one class their first year of upper secondary school, one Vehicle programme class. This embraces questions as: How, where, when and for what cause do students act to influence, and then with what result? Are students offered influence, and in that case which students? How does the organisation of and the content in the pedagogic practice prepare students to act in order to be able to exert influence in the future? These questions have been studied with regard to social background and gender. The analysis has its theoretical base in Bernstein’s theory of pedagogy and code (1990) and feminist perspectives (Arnot, 2006; Gordon, Holland, & Lahelma, 2000). The main results in the analysis are that actions taken to gain influence were rare, that the organisation of and the content in the pedagogic practice was mainly focussed on students as becoming, i. e. it focused students possibilities to be able to influence in the future and not the present. Furthermore, changing of pedagogic content or pedagogic forms was dependent on students’ own actions. There was a lack of teacher organisation to promote student influence. Finally, what was evaluated in the pedagogic practice, i.e. factual learning, did not promote student influence. Method The presentation builds on a one year ethnographic study in a Social science programme class and a Vehicle programme class. In practice this means that the two classes were followed their first year in upper secondary school. All in all there were 136 classroom observations, 55 individual interviews with the students, their teachers and their head teachers and collection of school and teaching material (Hjelmér, Lappalainen, & Rosvall, 2010; Rosvall, 2011a, 2011b). This presentation focuses on the material produced within the Vehicle programme class, but the material from the Social science class is also important in terms to understand processes within education that contributes to reproduction of social classes. This ethnographic study follows a tradition in Scandinavian research of ethnographic studies in sociology of education (Beach, 2010; Larsson, 2006) that researches relationships between social background, gender and education (Gordon, et al., 2000; Öhrn, 2001; Öhrn, Lundahl, & Beach, 2011). Expected Outcomes The paper demonstrates how pedagogic practice was gendered and classed, which had consequences for how students could influence and how students were prepared to influence in the future. Since the Social Science programme mostly attracts students from a middle-class background and the Vehicle programme those with a working-class background, the content in the programmes contributed to reproducing hierarchical social relations. The content for the Vehicle students proved to be simplified, personal and context dependent, whereas the content of the Social Science programme was more advanced, general and context independent, knowledge which, in argumentation for influence, is usually highly valued. In previous research, working class masculinities have often been associated with opposition towards study-oriented subjects. However, the current study indicates that there is an interest in studying Swedish, English and maths. The students argued that it was necessary for future employment, and that the Vehicle industry is now asking for this kind of knowledge. References Arnot, M. (2006). Freedom's children: A gender perspective on the education of the learner-citizen. International Review of Education, 52(1), 67-87. Beach, D. (2010). Identifying and comparing Scandinavian ethnography: comparisons and influences. Ethnography and Education, 5(1), 49-63. Bernstein, B. (1990). Class, Codes and Control. Volume IV, The Structuring of Pedagogic Discourse. London: Routledge cop. Gordon, T., Holland, J., & Lahelma, E. (2000). Making Spaces: Citizenship and Difference in Schools. Houndmills: MacMillan Press LTD. Hjelmér, C., Lappalainen, S., & Rosvall, P.-Å. (2010). Time, Space and Young People's Agency in Vocational Upper Secondary Education: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. European Educational Research Journal, 9(2), 247-259. Larsson, S. (2006). Ethnography in action. How ethnography was established in Swedish educational research. Ethnography & Education, 1(2), 177-195. Rosvall, P.-Å. (2011a). Pedagogic practice and influence in a social science class. In E. Öhrn, L. Lundahl & D. Beach (Eds.), Young people's influence and democratic education: Ethnographic studies in upper secondary schools (pp. 71-91). London: Tufnell Press. Rosvall, P.-Å. (2011b). Pedagogic practice and influence in a Vehicle Programme class. In E. Öhrn, L. Lundahl & D. Beach (Eds.), Young people's influence and democratic education: Ethnographic studies in upper secondary schools (pp. 92-111). London: Tufnell Press. Öhrn, E. (2001). Marginalization of democratic values: a gendered practice of schooling? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 5(2/3), 319-328. Öhrn, E., Lundahl, L., & Beach, D. (2011). Young people's influence and democratic education: Ethnographic studies in secondary schools. London: Tufnell press.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7012Local ID: 2320/12600OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-7012DiVA: diva2:887719
Conference
EERA ECER, Istanbul, Turkey, 10-13 September 2013
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22

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