ERIC Number: ED474683
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Disrupting Homogeneity: When Being Different Is Breaking School Rules.
A case study was conducted of Ryan, an 11-year-old student from New Zealand whose family came to Australia as itinerant fruit pickers. Classroom observations; document reviews; and interviews with Ryan, his teachers, and the school principal indicated that Ryan was a badly behaved student. However, in focusing on Ryan's behaviors and linking poor school behaviors with a lack of interest in learning, teachers were surprised when Ryan scored highly on statewide literacy tests. Despite learning being the core educational business, the school's discipline policies appeared to override other policies promoting social justice and respect for student diversity. By excluding Ryan from his cohort through suspensions, detentions, and relocation into an older class, school personnel attempted to coerce Ryan into changing his behaviors. Yet, these practices limited Ryan's access to classroom learning opportunities. Approaches such as this, that identify the student as deficient, ensure that other factors--the school's approach to discipline, the school culture, or even classroom organizational matters--remain unexamined. Understanding the way that contextual factors can constrain available discourses and taking a broader view that includes institutional, social, and cultural contexts might assist school personnel to make sense of students' behavior and to begin the difficult job of catering for student diversity. (TD)
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Case Studies, Context Effect, Discipline Policy, Diversity (Student), Elementary Education, Foreign Countries, Migrant Children, School Culture, Stereotypes, Student Behavior, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Expectations of Students, Teacher Student Relationship
For full text: http://www.aare.edu.au/02pap/hen02209.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia