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ERIC Number: ED450426
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
On Doing Being at Risk: The Role of Educational Ritual in Constructions of Success and Failure.
Fassett, Deanna L.
If educational success and failure are social accomplishments, then they are communicatively constituted; to this end, communication education scholars must begin to add their voices to a conversation started long ago in education. A study explored the likelihood of educational failure as a social construction. This paper does not neglect the various factors that appear to make some students more likely to fail than others. The paper suggests two things: first, the risk of failure does not manifest like a zero-sum game--there are a multiplicity of circumstances that may exist in any person's life that may make him/her more or less likely to fail in education; and second, any aspect of a person's identity is only a predictor of the likelihood of educational failure (or success) since it exists in relation to a given classroom ideology. It explains that in an analysis of focus group interviews with both undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants (about 32 students) at a mid-sized midwestern university, an ethnomethodological approach was used to demonstrate that what researchers teach as a stable, objective aspect of reality--i.e., the inevitability of educational failure--is, in fact, a human accomplishment, the result of concerted social action. The paper concludes that the study's participants did not understand educational success or failure as simply staying in school or dropping out--instead, they resisted establishing definitions at all, by balking at interview questions and repeatedly returning to issues or perspectives. It also finds that other participants articulated a notion of educational success and failure as "phase-like." Contains 4 notes and 27 references. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A