Teaching & Teacher Education
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study explored how rule systems evolved in two high school social studies classes. To accomplish this, detailed descriptions and analysis of the practices and processes by which teachers established and maintained rules were conducted in two classrooms over a nine-week observational timeline. In addition, the teachers were interviewed at the beginning, middle, and end of the observation period to gain insight into how they thought about their classes and reacted to the daily experiences they were having in these settings. Findings indicated that the teachers utilized the same enactment practices to uphold their management and rule systems, however, each operationalized these practices in dissimilar ways. This was largely due to the fact that the teachers' goal structures and beliefs about the function of management and classroom rules affected their implementation practices. Both set similar goals for managing the classroom and fostering self-discipline and student responsibility, yet each experienced problems attempting to balance student affordances for responsibility with teacher surveillance and interventions. One system thrived on explicitness and enforcement, while the other was dedicated to helping students develop autonomous morality. In reaction, both teachers had mixed feelings and/or satisfaction regarding the outcomes. This contrast was especially useful in demonstrating the inherent tensions in classroom systems that attempt to orchestrate students' personal responsibility. Such systems depend upon general norms and/or rules to guide student behavior. When students do not accept these norms, a teacher is constrained from imposing explicit rules and consequences because such practices take responsibility away from students and thus undermine the very system the teacher is attempting to implement. Overall, further research on this inherent tension is needed to better understand how teachers can orchestrate student responsibility in schools and classrooms.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies