ERIC Number: EJ1216123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Abstractor: As Provided
Being Safe from What and Safe for Whom? A Critical Discussion of the Conceptual Metaphor of 'Safe Space'
Flensner, Karin K.; Von der Lippe, Marie
Intercultural Education, v30 n3 p275-288 2019
Safe space, used in educational settings as a metaphor, stresses the importance of the classroom being a learning environment characterised by respect and safety. Based on examples from Swedish and Norwegian classroom research, this article problematises and discusses the complexity in the discourse on safe space by asking the critical questions: Being safe from what? -- and safe for whom? Related to the concept of safe space are questions about what possibly can make the classroom an unsafe place. In addition to various types of intimidation, harassment and attacks, discussions about certain issues and topics can, for various reasons, be perceived as threatening. The school is part of society, and in an increasingly polarised climate, controversial issues in contemporary society will often be perceived as controversial in classroom practice. In this sense, instead of giving students false promises of being safe in the Religious Education (RE) classroom, the concept 'classroom of disagreement' may be a useful metaphor, since it makes it explicitly clear that disagreements exist and are part of life.
Descriptors: School Safety, Figurative Language, Classroom Environment, Prosocial Behavior, Classroom Research, Foreign Countries, Cross Cultural Studies, Religious Education, Classroom Techniques, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Bullying, Student Attitudes, Educational Policy, Criticism, Secondary School Students, Racial Bias, Islam, Stranger Reactions, Antisocial Behavior, Civil Rights, Minority Groups
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden; Norway