Children, Home, and School: Autonomy, Connection, or Regulation?

Children, Home, and School: Autonomy, Connection, or Regulation?

Children, Home, and School: Autonomy, Connection, or Regulation?

Children, Home, and School: Autonomy, Connection, or Regulation?

Synopsis

In contemporary western societies, there are increasing emphases on children being the responsibility of their parents, contained within the home, and on their compartmentalisation into separate and protected organised educational settings. Thus 'home' and 'school' form a crucial part of children's lives and experiences. This book explores the key institutional settings of home and school, and other educationally linked organised spaces, in children's lives, and the relationships between these. It presents in-depth discussions concerning new research findings from a range of national contexts and focuses on various aspects of children's, and sometimes adult's, own understandings and activities in home and school, and after school settings, and the relationship between these. The contributors assess children from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances and consider how these children see and position themselves as autonomous within, connected to or regulated by home and school. Discussion of the impact of policy and practice developments on the everyday lives of these children is also included.

Excerpt

Despite its title The Future of Childhood Series is not an exercise in outmoded futurology. It does not aim to make simple-minded predictions of the future. Rather, it takes important aspects of contemporary children's lives and through research about current practices and emergent trends poses questions about possible, and alternative, future directions. This inevitably intersects with social and political controversies about values: why should we care about children; what constitutes a good childhood; who should be involved in shaping it and how? The series is, therefore, intended to provoke serious discussion about what childhood is, what it could and what it should be. Existing volumes have accomplished this in relation to inter-generational relationships, work and technology. An important collection on children and the city will be available in 2002 and further volumes on children and the family, social policy and identity are planned thereafter.

The aim of the Series is well exemplified by this particular volume on home-school relationships. The growth of official interest in links between home and school is an international phenomenon. It is fuelled by responses to intensified global economic competition that identify children as a potentially controllable part of the 'supply side'. This brackets children as a very important source of 'human capital' that can be shaped according to the skills anticipated as crucial to future economic competitiveness. This is, of course, a very instrumental and rather impoverished vision of education. Nevertheless, children's performance at school, which in this view is closely tied in with these economic goals, is thought to be influenced by parental involvement in their child's education. This is, therefore, increasingly targeted for intervention and regulation.

Children's voices and experiences are largely missing from this discourse-indeed, are thought unnecessary to it-because children's main importance is seen in their future adult economic roles rather than their active contemporary social participation. This volume, like the rest of the Series, begins to correct this by focusing on children as social actors. Its contributors document children's own experiences of the relationships between home and school (and cognate organisations). In doing so they also show how social forces that are at least partially contradictory shape childhood as an institution. So, for example, it is clear that the 'human capital' version of childhood is not the only possibility. Children are also growing up amidst more generalised tendencies towards individualisation, which constructs not a fatalistic

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.