School space(s)

Michaela Nietert (Georg-August-University of Göttingen)
Regina F. Bendix (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Margaret Kraul (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Regina Bendix, Catharina Keßler, Margret Kraul, MIchaela Nietert
Tower B, Piso 3, Room T16
Start time:
18 April, 2011 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Schools are places of learning but also spaces (re-)shaped by their actors. The panel inquires into the construction and creation of schools as loci shaped by narrative, ritual, memory, power and emotion. It brings together research approaches and case studies of schools as social and cultural localities.

Long abstract:

Europeans spend the major part of their early life in schools, working alongside adults trained to teach them. Schools are at once places of learning and living spaces for the adolescents and teachers. Educational ideals, the making of citizens, youth culture, school architecture and discipline: these are just a few of the changing discourses concerning schools within a society. This panel invites contributions examining schools as sites shaped and reshaped by those coming to learn and teach within them. Classrooms, school yards, the teachers' room, corridors, the library and cafeteria provide physical structures within which school life unfolds. Beyond the power inherent to the concrete space, the panel inquires into how actors seek to make it their own place. What processes are at work (or are hindered?) within the constantly recomposing membership of a school with new cohorts entering whilst others graduate? How do actors' interaction, negotiation and imagination contribute to the shaping of school cultures? How do different sets of actors seek to emplace and make visible or graspable their position in school life? Are there narratives connected to specific sites within a school and how do they encode internal school imaginaries and power relations; how do they differ from outside reflections and reputations of a school? How do actors participate in and construct their school's history, both orally and through material culture? We are inviting presentations of ethnographically based case studies, as well as papers reflecting methodological approaches suitable for working with both school actors and their organisational settings.