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Democratic education in the age of therapeutic culture: teenagers’ and teachers’ experiences of social-emotional learning in a nine grade class
Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Education. (Teknikburna kunskapsprocesser)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0270-4266
2013 (English)In: The 41st Annual Congress of the Nordic Educational Research AssociationDisruptions and eruptions as opportunities for transforming education: Abstract book, 2013, 93- p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications for the possibilities of doing democratic experiences when using socio-emotional programs as value-based education. Since the wake of the Second World War, school as an institution has been given a specific responsibility for securing democracy through educating future citizens equipped with democratic values and skills. Earlier studies have shown that even though there has been a societal consensus that school should have this democratic assignment, there have been several interpretations of its meaning and its didactical design.  During the first decade of the millennium, it has become common to use manual-based programs for social emotional learning (SEL) as a way of realizing school’s democratic assignment. The increase of using socio-emotional programs within schools is understood from the sociological perspective as a part of a wider therapeutic culture where a focus on emotions and how to handle emotions is regarded as enlightened and good (Furedi 2003).

In this paper, the results of a case study of the implementation of a social-emotional program as value-based education in a nine grade class are presented and discussed. The study is conducted through classrooms observations when SEL activities are organized, interviews with the school’s headmaster, teachers, and pupils on their experiences and views on SEL in education. The school is situated in a Swedish municipality where all pupils in compulsory school had to participate weekly in social-emotional programs, as a consequence of local political decision. The main results of the study point at that the implementation of the SEL program in the studied class can be understood as contra productive concerning creating a democratic school culture for teachers and pupils. Neither teachers’ nor pupils´ critique of the SEL program were heard or taken seriously. There were no forum for critical discussions on the premises of the program – critique was silenced and resistances were ignored. The pupils expressed less belief in democratic processes after (being compelled to) participating in the SEL program than before.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 93- p.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande, Socioemotionella program i skola och förskola
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-12170OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-12170DiVA: diva2:618622
Conference
NFPF/NERA 41st Congress, Reykjavik, Iceland, March 7th to 9th 2013
Available from: 2013-04-29 Created: 2013-04-29 Last updated: 2017-03-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
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More styles
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