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ERIC Number: EJ1074802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
"Assembling" the Ideal Learner: The School Assembly as Regulatory Ritual
Silbert, Patti; Jacklin, Heather
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v37 n4 p326-344 2015
"School assemblies" are rituals that celebrate and mark the school community. They carry messages of allegiance and belonging that are disseminated both verbally and nonverbally. Although verbal messages are explicitly stated, nonverbal messages are conveyed through subjection to habits, rules, and orders (Foucault 1977) and are exercised via silent and invisible instruments, such as spatial arrangements and bodily practices (Youdell 2006). Because a typical school's discursive formations are articulated through the strategies it uses to regulate behavior (Masschelein and Simons 2002), the school assembly can be seen as a disciplinary and normalizing ritual that shapes the individual's conduct towards a desired end. As a regulatory practice, it is applied continually around, upon--and ultimately within--the individual (Foucault 1977). Although globally, assemblies function as powerful instruments that form part of the school's broader disciplinary processes, students are shaped differently in different school contexts, according to the school's particular version of the imagined learner. In this study we describe and compare regulatory practices of the school assembly in two schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa that draw students from very different socioeconomic contexts. We go on to examine how the practice of school assemblies functions to normalize behavior and to shape students as particular sorts of subjects (Ball 1990; Tikly 2003; Hayes et al. 2006). The article is drawn from a larger study that examined how the imagined learner is constructed in policy and school discourse, and how students imagine themselves within and against the school's discursive framing (Silbert 2012).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A