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Shared and divided minds: On affordances in education for participant and sympathetic children
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2010 (English)In: The Social Ecology Of School Success: Implications For Policy And Practice / [ed] Diana Dămean, Maria Roth, Csaba Dégi, Lorena Văetişi, 2010, 237-254 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper, which is the summary of my thesis, is about democratic education and ‘life competence learning’, which includes varied efforts to develop students’ social and emotional competencies. In one of the studies included in my thesis, I have followed lessons wherein teachers’ intentions are directed to strengthen the young children’s self-confidence as well as conflict solving capacities. By using different educational materials teachers want to reduce bullying and create a democratic order in class. In the lessons each student is supposed to let their voice be heard, and the issues discussed are about preventing and revealing peer conflicts. It is clear that children see these exercises from a different point of departure than adults: children have difficulties to define what problems are relevant to discuss in this ‘public’ classroom. To choose acceptable and not too private matters is the challenging task, not the conflict solving in itself. The ‘friend application’ where each child is supposed to formulate what is making them a good peer, is not only means to better self-confidence. This can also be stigmatizing: when some appear not enough ‘social competent’ to deliver statements about their own qualities, they are being ‘helped’ by the others. Unfortunately adults disregard how children see these matters. By using theories about intersubjectivity, I have tried to shred light upon the possibilities to get to know another’s perspective on the common issues. This study concludes that the children’s experiences about what is at stake are not considered. This can explain why children also are trying to turn the lessons to something they apprehend and find challenging. When this is tolerated by the adult and the children find a topic to share insights and wonderings about, more of them are participating in a mutual exploratory speech. But often the possibility to know the other is shaded by the expectation on the predefined right answer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. 237-254 p.
Keyword [en]
intersubjectivity, child perspective, self-expression, pupil participation
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53111OAI: diva2:389899
The Social Ecology Of School Success: Implications For Policy And Practice
The paper is based on the summary of the thesis Shared and divided minds. On affordances in education for participant and sympathetic children (Aspan 2009) Available from: 2011-01-20 Created: 2011-01-20 Last updated: 2011-01-25Bibliographically approved

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