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ERIC Number: EJ906496
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
Student Authority: Antidote to Alienation
Goodman, Joan
Theory and Research in Education, v8 n3 p227-247 Nov 2010
The widespread disaffection of students from school is manifested in academic failure, indifference, and defiance. These problems can be alleviated, I argue, when an authority structure is developed that combines three components--freedom, power, and legitimacy. Authority understood as either power or freedom is apt to subvert students' school attachment even while attempting to strengthen it; authority that combines power and freedom, when perceived by all parties as serving a legitimate mission, is apt to enhance engagement. The bonding potency of authority is augmented when it is joined to strongly marked school purposes and dispersed to students. The three components of authority are interwoven with school visions and student authority into various patterns: some schools lean more towards power, others more towards freedom; some operate under highly moralized and totalizing visions, others under vaguer, less moral, and less encompassing visions. The nature and interdependence of the three components and the trade-offs under various combinations are discussed. While legitimate authority has many faces, if schools are to be engaging places for students it is essential that the norms promoted are welcomed by them; advantageous to that process is ordaining students with authority to advance prevailing norms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A