ERIC Number: ED381831
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
"I'm Not Being Violent, I'm Just Having Fun!" Violence as Enacted Curriculum in a Fifth-Grade Classroom.
Greenwood, Vanessa Elaine
Grounded in a communication theory that assumes that the form of communication affects the content of the knowledge that a teacher conveys to his or her students, a study attempted to determine how violence is treated in the classroom. The site for the study was Darbin Elementary School, in a suburb of San Francisco. The method was observation, though informal interviews were also conducted with the teacher and the students. During the course of the observation, the researcher witnessed the teacher deal once with physical violence by helping a particularly dangerous student to "take time out" instead of throwing a tantrum. Most violence, however, surfaced only in a symbolic form, specifically in three activities or occurrences. First, a small, mischievous student shaped a paper clip into a gun and then proceeded to shoot people using sound effects; the teacher did not seem to take the incident seriously. Second, students who were asked to design a banner to represent their "tribe" or small group, devised sometimes violent insignia; again the teacher did not pursue extended discussion about these violent symbols. Third, when students read compositions containing violent implications to the class, the student audience laughed and the teacher commended the authors' creativity. The teacher's only response to these compositions was to underscore the difference between fantasy and reality. The specific meanings of symbolic violence are unclear and warrant further discussion. (Contains 22 references; designs from the banner are appended.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: California (San Francisco Bay Area); Symbolic Representation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western States Communication Association (Portland, OR, February 10-14, 1995).