ERIC Number: ED166316
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
A Child's Place: Toward a More Complex View.
Lightfoot, Sara Lawrence
IRCD Bulletin, v13 n4 Fall 1978
The educational research on schools and classrooms is burdened by the unresolved images of children and their place in society. Most educational research exaggerates the dominance of the teacher and neglects the presence and power of children. This tends to support the irresponsible, dependent, and powerless role assigned to children in our culture. Cultural perspectives on chilhood are reinforced by sociological conceptions of the purposes and functions of schools in contemporary society. These views offer a partial and unrealistic picture of classroom life. Neglected are the dynamic and uneven process of socialization and the initiating of creative actions of children in classrooms. There are also methodological and strategic reasons why the interactions and social systems among children in classrooms have been given such minimal attention by researchers. In addition, stereotyped perceptions distort such research and cultural differences account for research misinterpretation, particularly in the case of minority, lower class children. In the process of developing methodological strategies for documenting and analyzing the patterns and interactions and social systems created and sustained by children, researchers must confront current cultural biases, traditional theories and beliefs regarding children and childhood, and views held on the social and economic purposes of schools. (Author/EB)
Descriptors: Bias, Children, Classroom Observation Techniques, Classroom Research, Educational Research, Elementary School Students, Minority Group Children, Research Problems, School Role, Social Influences, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role
Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027 ($1.00)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Inst. for Urban and Minority Education.
Note: For a related document, see UD 019 112