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ERIC Number: ED405096
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov-7
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Let's Get Our Houses in Order: The Role of Transitional Rituals in Constructing Moral Kindergartners.
McCadden, Brian M.
Based on a participant observation study of a full-day kindergarten in a North Carolina public school in 1994, this report argues that instructional transitions or classroom rituals act as rites of passage enabling children to disengage from their home roles, transition to school roles, and assume the moral identity of the student role. Portal rites of passage are comprised of three stages: (1) separation from the previous world (preliminal); (2) transitioning to the new world (liminal); and (3) reaggregation into the new world (post-liminal). Each day, kindergarten children pass through the separation ritual, experience liminal space, and have a reaggregation ritual. Liminal spaces are used to construct an organizational morality in which children apply the identity of"student." This construction takes form in: (1) learning what school is; (2) learning to transition between activities; and (3) learning to internalize the rules. Vignettes illustrate the construction of the identity of "student." The use of rituals such as naming tools used in the classroom (books, crayons, etc.) presents the metaphor of school as work and the transition to an external authority governing child behavior. Through the use of a special language and special symbols, the teacher transmits the classroom culture and morality and the social reality of schooling. The transitional rituals represent rule reinforcement, language internalization, and authority internalization. Children participate in the construction by resisting and modifying the objects of construction. (Contains 18 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A