ERIC Number: ED346098
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Social Constructions of Students: Challenges to Policy Coherence.
McLaughlin, Milbrey W.; Talbert, Joan E.
This study examines the question of students as context for what happens in school and the ways in which educators' subjective interpretations of the realities students bring with them to school influence every aspect of the school environment. The focus is on contemporary, nontraditional students whose academic backgrounds, families, values, or life circumstances differ from those of traditional students. Utilizing interviews and observational techniques, the study demonstrates how teachers working in different settings view the "same" student in dramatically different ways and construct different conceptions of students as learners. Findings suggest that different constructions of students within and between schools challenges the coherence of education policy. Today's teachers were not, for the most part, trained to work with today's students, and teachers who feel little support for constructing new responses to students or for rethinking classroom routines from the perspectives of today's students are more likely to persist in orthodox conceptions of pedagogy, underestimating the abilities of both contemporary students and teachers. (LL)
Descriptors: Context Effect, Conventional Instruction, Interpretive Skills, Nontraditional Students, School Policy, Secondary Education, Secondary School Curriculum, Secondary School Students, Secondary School Teachers, Social Cognition, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Expectations of Students, Teacher Response
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Context of Secondary School Teaching.
Identifiers: Objective Analysis; Subjective Evaluation; Subjective Judgment
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).