The school production of self-regulated pupils: from educational dispositifs focusing on student autonomy to social contradictions
Type de référence
Langue de la référenceFrançais
Référence APADurler, H. (2014, novembre). The school production of self-regulated pupils: from educational dispositifs focusing on student autonomy to social contradictions. Communication présentée à Conference Sociological Perspectives in Research on Education,, Fribourg, Suisse.
This contribution is based on the results of an ethnographic survey in an elementary school in Geneva, bringing together observations in classes, interviews with teachers, observations in families and interviews with children (aged between 5 and 10 years old) and their parents. This survey highlights the inherent contradictions existing in dispositifs focusing on student autonomy. In this contribution, we will discuss the principles of socialization underlying these dispositives and how they are expressed in the educational practices. Specifically, we examine the paradox that teachers face daily, as they should encourage students to discover and acquire the knowledge and school rules independently, while framing their practices so that they conform to the expectations of the educational institution. This contribution aims to help resolve the paradox of "mandatory autonomy" by providing a sociological analysis of practices implemented in classrooms in order to develop student autonomy. We focused on the interactions and practices in the classroom, but also on those that take place outside (in families, in staff meetings, in informal meetings and discussions, etc.) to understand what the concept of autonomy means in the school environment and to identify their implications on students, their parents and teachers. Salient features of observed practices can be "typified" in dispositifs crystallizing recurrent and identifiable situations observed in the various forms of education. This recurrence indicates a more general influence than what it happens “here-and-now”. The concept of dispositif as an intermediary level of analysis makes possible the articulation of the macro- and micro-sociological analysis in practices. The first movement of the analysis considers the principles of socialization underlying teaching practices. As well as sociology of work describes how autonomy granted to workers (employees, managers, workers) has become in recent decades a process of management, it is possible to consider that autonomy given to pupils is a way to increase their motivation and their engagement in school work. Learning should not appear as a constraint, but as an interesting and motivating activity. Pupils have to get involved in it and to carry itself without beeing helped. Dispositifs of self-regulation refer to self-control cognitive processes (intellectual commitment), to self-organization of work (intrumental commitment), to individual responsibility (moral commitment) and to personnal needs (expressive engagement). They require skills in term of reflexivity, as ability to reflect on their own experience and learning, self-assessment, etc. They require also skills in term of transparancy, as ability to self-expression, traceability of activities, etc.) The second movement of the analysis examines the contradictory aspects of school autonomy injunction. The dispositifs of self-regulation bring the actors (teachers, pupils, parents) on situation of paradoxal injunction or double constraint. We will present the features of these contradictions: the strategies used by teachers to solve, even temporarily, the tension generated by these situations and the social issues they raise. In particular, we will see that the educational model of autonomy involves a family internalization of school form of socialization (“forme scolaire de socialisation”). Finally, we will see that this model tends to nourish an essentialist perspective of social phenomena, because pupils difficulties are interpreted in term of individual and psychological problems. It conceals the coexistence of divergent educational models across social classes, providing inequal resources to individuals to deal with teaching methods