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”Att göra sina uppgifter, vara tyst och lämna in i tid”: Om elevansvar i det högmoderna samhället
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to describe and analyse pupils’ and teachers’ views on pupils’ responsibility for their schoolwork and how this relates to a more comprehensive ideology of school and today’s high modern society. The analysis is inspired by Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory and the concepts of discursive consciousness, practical consciousness, rules, routines and resources.

At school level pupils’ and teachers’ views of pupils’ responsibility is shown in their practical and discursive consciousness. To capture this consciousness, observations were made during fifteen lessons in school year 9 (15-16 years of age). These lessons - “study times” - were introduced to increase freedom of choice, flexibility and responsibility. Sixty-eight pupils and twenty-two teachers were interviewed. The ideology expressed in pupils’ and teachers’ views on pupils’ responsibility was related to the official school ideology expressed in the national curriculum. Finally, an analysis was carried out inspired by Anthony Giddens’ and Ulrich Beck´s concepts used in their descriptions of the high modern society, individualism and value-relativism.

The results showed a discursive consensus between teachers and pupils concerning their views pupils’ responsibility for their schoolwork. The meaning of responsibility was taken for granted and implied doing the school tasks and to complete them in time. Both teachers and pupils expressed that many pupils’ have difficulties in taking this responsibility. A discrepancy between the pupils’ discursive and practical consciousness was found.

Rules and routines were created by the teachers to control the freedom of space offered during the “study times”. The pupils legitimated the teachers’ controlling function but in practice they offer resistance against the demand for responsibility.

The overall analysis identified three issues that are important for further discussions in research and educational practice. Responsibility and learning: Responsibility was observed as a part of a “culture of doing” separated from learning as such. Also, responsibility was linked to individual work. The freedom offered during the “study times” was used by both pupils, and teachers, to build relationships. This means that relationships were not created through work but rather despite it. Responsibility and the view of the pupils’: In pupils’ and teachers’ view of responsibility pupils were easy going, ruled by lust and/or responsible but not always according to the conditions stipulated by the school. The pupils were offered a freedom to choose but they were also held responsible for the consequences. While they could make the choice not to work, this would influence the evaluation of the achievements, and in reality make it a “non-choice”. The freedom was limited and conditioned. Responsibility as a democratic principle: The connection between responsibility and pupil participation expressed in the national curriculum was not to be found in pupils’ and teachers’ views of responsibility. While the pupils were offered participation in relation to which assignments to choose to work with during the “study times”. They were not invited to shape the rules and the routines for the schoolwork or to have influence on the contents of the work or the working environment. The pupils’ did not ask for more participation, but rather feared it would lead to chaos. The separation between participation and responsibility indicated in the study is suggested to weaken the idea of responsibility as one of the democratic principles.

In conclusion: The view of pupils’ responsibility for their schoolwork was built upon an individualistic ideology. known from Giddens and Becks description of high modernity. In contrast to their description, however my results show no signs of value-relativism

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten , 2006.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2006:40
Keywords [en]
pupils’ responsibility, Giddens’ structuration theory, ideology individualism, value-relativism
Keywords [sv]
elevansvar, Giddens struktureringsteori, ideologi, individualism, värderelativism
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-788ISBN: 91-7063-071-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-788DiVA, id: diva2:6520
Public defence
2006-10-20, Nyqvistsalen, 9C 203, Karlstads universitet, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-04-23 Created: 2007-04-23

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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