9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 Education Structures I Building I, 2E8

Pedagogic relation changes and challenges: from classroom interaction to the broader sociocultural context

This communication follows a first period of field research, carried out in a study on the changes in the pedagogical relationship at the secondary public school. Although the innumerous different contexts in which the pedagogical action takes place, we believe in the existence of a shared set of cultural and social regularities between those contexts. The main challenge is establishing a link between the interaction in the classroom and some dynamics of societal changes. Therefore we propose analyzing the relationship of students to the school authority in a context of structural change and reforming cultures, skills and personal identities of the youngest.
Focusing the terrain observation in Lisbon?s public secondary education ? 10th to 12th grades - the choice of the schools was guided by a criterion of heterogeneity in relation to socioeconomic backgrounds of their students. This approach may be considered unorthodox since apparently ignores one key-concept of sociology of education: class. When studying the student?s relations to authority-figures like the teacher at the learning set, a class-oriented research will most probably enhance some of the old disparities which are still present nowadays, and serve as a camouflage to some important, although subtle, changes that may occur at the general mainstream of codes, and even structural aspects which tend to mold the way students behave and think. Although unsatisfactory in terms of its theoretical and methodological accuracy, the concept "middle class" will merge some of the constraints that may interfere with the purpose of this study giving us a much more broader sense of the transversal cultural changes which influence, more or less equally, different groups of socioeconomic and identity backgrounds. Two major dimensions emerge in the practices and behavior of the students: one is of a structural nature and is related to the accelerated changes in the information and communication technologies shaping the practices of learning; the other, is related to the values, beliefs and identity references that shape the communication and learning strategies at the teacher-student level.