ERIC Number: ED349644
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Seeking Solidarity and Responsibility: The Classroom Contexts of Control and Negotiation.
McLaughlin, H. James
Teachers' attempts to establish and maintain authority in their classrooms give rise to one of the essential tensions of teaching: reconciling caring and controlling. This paper examines sociopolitical questions about the nature of classroom authority and the uses of power to understand this tension. The first part presents an overview of the social and historical contexts of control, drawing on the works of Foucault (1979), Apple (1990), and Popkewitz (1987). The second part offers a critique of the prevailing "management" metaphor of control insofar as it constructs educators' conceptions of classroom authority and fails to address the tensions of caring and controlling. Part 3 describes recent efforts to shift the focus from obedience to responsibility, in response to narrow interpretations of the management metaphor. The final part discusses how classrooms and schools might be conceived as sites of teacher-student negotiation. Because negotiation represents a form of caring, a focus on the negotiatory nature of schooling highlights the ever-present tensions of caring and controlling. The contexts, purposes, and realms of negotiation are described; in conclusion, acts of negotiation may enhance both individual responsibility and group solidarity. (Includes 44 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).