Marshmallow claps and frozen children: sitting on the carpet in the modern ‘on-task’ primary classroom

Kirby, Perpetua (2019) Marshmallow claps and frozen children: sitting on the carpet in the modern ‘on-task’ primary classroom. Pedagogy, Culture and Society. ISSN 1468-1366

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Abstract

This paper examines how young children experience the moral and bodily discipline of the modern English ‘on-task’ primary classroom, in which they are expected to sit quietly and still for long periods on the classroom carpet, listening to what teachers know. It details the conditions of the classrooms, a performance-focused environment centred on delivering a knowledge-based curriculum, rooted in educational legacies emphasising social order and conformity. Staff employ different strategies to ensure compliance, including controlling the physical and sonic environment, and children’s bodies themselves. The paper details how this leaves children feeling physically uncomfortable and vulnerable to difficult emotional experiences, as well as how they find ways to move and speak their critique of this education model. The study draws on a multimodal ethnography of a Year One classroom, within an ordinary English primary school, and a week-long ‘rapid’ ethnography in a Year One class in an ‘outstanding’ teaching school.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 13:42
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2019 13:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/87317

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