Teaching and Learning in City Schools: A Comparative Study

Teaching and Learning in City Schools: A Comparative Study

Teaching and Learning in City Schools: A Comparative Study

Teaching and Learning in City Schools: A Comparative Study

Excerpt

This study of elementary school classrooms was contributed to by members of various disciplines. However, the majority of the research team were anthropologists, and it is from the science of social anthropology that the theoretical framework of the study was most explicitly drawn. This meant that children's education was seen as inseparable from the broader process of their socialization, and, in turn, that their socialization by the school was viewed as inextricably bound up with the social system, of which both schools and children are part, and with the status of the class and color groupings to which different children belong. Furthermore, the assumptions about what is important and desirable for children, as well as the goals being conveyed to them in the course of their schooling, were considered to be crucial to the socialization process; it was understood that these assumptions and goals (often loosely encompassed by the term "values") are transmitted to children by implication and indirection at least as often as by direct exhortation.

However, the study is not of socialization as such but of teaching seen in the context of socialization. It is a study of classrooms, pupils, and teachers, and the researchers never lost sight of the fact that teaching involves its own body of theory and technology. Yet this technology, as learned by teachers during their training, is translated into practice within an institutional structure that has many other than strictly educational functions—including not only its general socialization function but also its custodial function of caring for young children much of the . . .

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