Peer groups, power and pedagogy: the limits of an educational paradigm of separation

Keddie, Amanda and Hickey, Christopher (2004) Peer groups, power and pedagogy: the limits of an educational paradigm of separation. The Australian Educational Researcher, 31 (1). pp. 57-78. ISSN 0311-6999


In contrast to the plethora of literature that suggests that the increasing gulf between teachers and young people is due to the shifting interests and expectations of young
people, the focus of this paper is on the roles teachers play in this relationship. Provoking our interest is a concern that some of the assumptions that underpin
‘mainstream’ pedagogic theory and practice might actually contribute, albeit unwittingly, to hardening rather than softening the communication divide. Drawing on an incident that took place between a group of 7–8 year old males in a primary school setting, we reveal the limits of a teaching paradigm that encourages teachers to adopt authoritative positions from which to separate and individualise student
behaviour. In theoretical terms, we argue that the application of this paradigm asserts an exaggerated notion of agency to individuals in the construction of identity. In
practical terms it promotes processes that individualise behaviour as a way of dealing with miscreance. Together these manifest themselves as a ‘pedagogy of separation’. The
process of building more productive pedagogic relationships, we conclude, needs to begin with teachers better recognising and engaging with the collective investments of young people.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2010 05:09
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: behaviour problems; bullying; discipline; males; peer groups; power structure; student behaviour; student teacher relationship; teacher response; teacher role; teaching process; violence; primary education
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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