Auktoritet och ansvar : Lärares fostrans- och omsorgsarbete i historisk belysning
How has teachers’ work changed during the 20th century? This question is addressed in this dissertation that deals with two aspects of teachers’ work: moral education/discipline and care. The two aspects relate to two distinct, yet sometimes interconnected problems: the norm-breaking and the suffering child.Drawing on a rich source of material, consisting of handbooks, magazines and journals for teachers, interviews, life histories, school memories, novels, commission reports etcetera, and theoretically interpreted within a frame of mentalities, modernity and institutional features of schooling, the process of change is described in terms of contrasts between “the past” and “the present” or between the modern and the late modern condition. The results are presented in two parts, dealing with discipline (part II) and care (part III).Part II deals with changes in the meaning of discipline or moral education by focusing on the changes of what has been seen as a discipline problem, and the ways in which discipline problems can be counteracted. The question of the meanings of discipline problems is first illustrated by the “rise and fall” of the lying school child. The emphasis is on the ways in which the lie was held to be problematic in the early 20th century, but the fundamental aim is to understand the process of change whereby lies came to be seen as less important and dramatic as a problem for moral education. The meaning of discipline is further analysed in a study of conceptions of the school class. Contrasting the concept of bullying with the idea that the school class is characterised by a high level of solidarity (common in the first part of the 20th century), the changes of moral education are analysed. Further, the transformations of the school punishment are discussed, with a focus on ideas on the good punishment. After concluding the chapters on moral education, the focus shifts towards the teachers’ responsibility toward the suffering school child (part III). The point of departure here is that the problem of the suffering school child is not a self evident problem in the same way as the problem of the norm-breaking child. This means that the analysis of changes in caring relationships in schools has to focus on the ways in which suffering is made visible as a responsibility for the teachers. First there is an analysis of how the attitudes towards the value of being happy at school can shift historically, and how these changes can be related to shifting views on schooling as a phase of preparation. Further the process of making suffering visible is investigated. It is argued that contemporary teachers are both expected to and able to see the suffering of the child in a new way. Another chapter deals with school hygiene and “crisis pedagogy”. These are two different ways of speaking about what it means to work for wellbeing in schools that belong to two different historical time periods. The two projects are both about wellbeing, but the first had “sickness” as the fundamental concept, whereas the later has “sorrow” as its fundamental concept. The former is characterised by a belief in progress and segregation, whereas the latter is characterised by a belief in inclusion and close personal relationships.In describing aspects of teachers work that have often been perceived as difficult to handle, the dissertation’s object, in the widest sense, is to give new perspectives on the meaning of working conditions, and by implication, the historical changes of these conditions. In an even more general sense the aim is to give new perspectives on schooling in late modern societies.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Social sciences; Education; Teachers´ work; moral education; discipline; care; history of mentalities; modernity; history of education
Date of Publication:01/01/2006