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Reproduction, Resistance and Hope

The Promise of Schooling for Boys

Michael C. Reichert and Joseph Nelson

Extended editorial introduction to a double special issue on boys and schooling. Adopting a developmental perspective on boyhood, the editors frame these special issues on boys' education by reviewing research on their experience of schooling. In particular, they endeavor to illuminate boys' agency and opportunities they can find in schools for resistance to restrictive masculine regimes.

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Education and Godly Technology

Gender, Culture, and the Work of Home Schooling

Michael W. Apple

The secularity of the state is seen by 'authoritarian populist' religious conservatives as imposing a world-view that is out of touch with the deep religious commitments that guide their lives. In the process, authoritarian populists have taken on subaltern identities and claimed that they are the last truly dispossessed groups. To demonstrate their increasing power in educational and social policy, I situate a specific set of technologies—the Internet—within the social context of its use in this community. I focus on the growing home-schooling movement and suggest that to understand the societal meaning and uses of these technologies, we need to examine the social movement that provides the context for their use. I also argue that we need to analyze critically the kind of labor that is required in home schooling, who is engaged in such labor, and how such labor is interpreted by the actors who perform it.

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Tetiana Shevchenko

This article deals with religious discourse in modern history school textbooks in Ukraine that cover early modern times in Ukrainian history. It analyzes the place of religious discourse within national discourse, the correlation between local Ukrainian religious and more general discourse, and the representation of the relationships between Christian churches. Further, it defines a methodological approach and assesses the accuracy of facts presented in textbooks as well as the interpretation of religious life, normative language, and denominational labeling. It demonstrates the discrepancy between the achievements of academic historiography and school history, including the isolated and exclusive nature of history discourse in Ukrainian schools today.

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Contested Citizenship

Public Schooling and Political Changes in Early Nineteenth Century Switzerland

Ingrid Brühwiler

This article examines public education and the establishment of the nation-state in the first half of the nineteenth century in Switzerland. Textbooks, governmental decisions, and reports are analyzed in order to better understand how citizenship is depicted in school textbooks and whether (federal) political changes affected the image of the “imagined citizen” portrayed in such texts. The “ideal citizen” was, first and foremost, a communal and cantonal member of a twofold society run by the church and the secular government, in which nationality was depicted as a third realm.

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Elena Liarskaya

Residential schooling has been widely blamed for destroying aboriginal cultures. This article, based on extensive fieldwork with Nenets schoolchildren in the Yamal Autonomous Okrug, argues that for Yamal Nenetses the residential school can become a part of their traditional culture. The article compares the experiences of Nenets pupils in the 1950s to those of Nenets pupils today. It argues that present-day residential school experience is different, owing to the large number of Nenetses living in settlements, the fact that Nenetses use their language in the settlement context, and the fact that elder kinsmen actively prepare tundra children for the experience of schooling.

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The Meaning of Difference

Young Gay Males’ Experiences at School in Australia

Murray Drummond

This article is based on in-depth interviews with 14 young gay men aged between 18 and 25 years. Using narratives in a life-historical perspective the young men reflect upon their boyhood and adolescent years to highlight the many and varied issues confronting young gay males during this formative period. While a range of themes will be identified through use of inductive thematic analysis, it is the school environment and the process of schooling that highlights the issues associated with difference that young gay males confront while growing up. Life histories provide a unique method of understanding difference in the lives of individuals. Capturing the essence of meaning of a young gay male’s life (under the age of 18) through consensual research data is difficult due to the ethical dilemmas presented in requiring a parent or guardian to provide the right for participation. Therefore, life histories become even more important where young gay males are concerned in an attempt to understand the issues they confront while growing up gay in a heterosexualized culture.

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Historical Textbook Research

Textbooks in the Context of the

Carsten Heinze

This piece defends the hypothesis that methodologically well-grounded historical textbook research is only possible if one has an understanding of the context in which textbooks acquire meaning. Based on the theory of a “grammar of schooling” (Tyack/Tobin; Cuban), the article develops a concept on the basis of which it is possible to describe particular contexts and the way in which they relate to teaching materials. Textbooks are thus understood as an element of the “grammar of schooling” and, from the perspective of discourse and theory, as a “point of intersection” between discourse and its corresponding teaching practice.

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Books Are Boring! Books Are Fun!

Boys’ Polarized Perspectives on Reading

Laura Scholes

This article draws on interview data gathered from a broader study concerned with examining issues associated with boys, masculinities, and reading at school. The focus is on eight boys in Years 5 and 6 who attend schools in a range of socioeconomic communities in Australia. The boys offer polarized perspectives on reading, with four boys reporting positive attitudes toward reading and describing reading books as “fun” and another four boys describing reading books as “boring.” Examined are inflections in these two groups of boys’ experiences as readers at school, making visible the way boys’ attitudes influence engagement with reading. This research moves beyond broad generalizations about boys to consider complexities inherent in notions of masculinity and how different groups of boys internalize their positioning of reading in ways that influence their attitudes, engagement, and subsequently outcomes in reading.

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The Boy Is Not a Well-Behaved Henry

Images and Goals of Education in Dutch Educational Literature about Boys (1882-2005)

Angela J.M. Crott and Fabian Schurgers

Representations of the boy in Dutch educational literature shift considerably during the twentieth century while educational goals remain importantly unchanged. Optimism in education seen before the Second World War diminishes after the war as a result of social changes. While representations of boys take on increasingly negative tones, boys themselves may be changing little. This is suggested by the goals of education that remain constant during the entire century, goals which aim to free the boy as much as possible from troublesome behavior as mischief. Pedagogical aims to have boys adopt desired behavior, like courteousness, change during the 1970s and stress those of care and emotional strength. However, boys’ adoption of caring behaviors progresses so slowly the boy, often embraced as the hope of the fatherland in the first half of the twentieth century, is increasingly seen as a problem at the end of it.

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Elizabeth Mazzola

Roger Ascham has been credited with rehabilitating Elizabeth Tudor's image after a near-disastrous seduction at the hands of her stepmother's husband Thomas Seymour. But in many ways Ascham's tutelage merely continues a process the Lord Admiral had already begun, educating a young girl about what to wear, how to comport herself, and how to regard her male teacher, all necessary steps in the programme Vives details as removing 'the residue of her infancy'. This essay examines Ascham's seductions and Seymour's pedagogy with the larger aim of exploring the Tudor classroom, at once an official site of humanist learning and kind of rival space where women were taught to read and to write and to counteract the designs of male teachers. If images of Lucretia and Griselda resurface in accounts of Elizabeth's prodigious learning, there were other female figures - like Katherine Parr and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth's governess Kat Ashley and the Duchess of Suffolk - who shaped a humanism of the household just as crucial as the humanism of the university.