Lärare och konflikthantering : En undersökande studie ur ett könsperspektiv
Sammanfattning: This dissertation explores ten teachers´ approaches to managing conflicts with/between pupils. The relevance of gender is analysed according to the strategies and representations chosen by the teachers. The methods used for data collection include ´rounds´, role-plays and ongoing reflexivity, mainly in single-sex groups. Three main strategies were identified in managing conflicts with/between pupils: challenging, confirming and physically touching. The strategy of challenging reveals that teachers have high expectations of how competent pupils ought to be. It is no longer enough to be competent and independent as a pupil (in Sweden); he or she is also expected to have an integrated ethic of caring. Values such as an ethic of caring are conventionally associated with femininity, and are usually invisible and/or low status; though they have now become the dominant norm for both female and male teachers. The strategy of confirming is used to give support to the pupil but there is a risk of confirming one individual “too much” which can lead to relational problems with other pupils. Physical touching as a strategy relates to dilemmas arising from gendered expectations of physicality in teacher-pupil interaction. Overall, difficulties were found in getting male teachers to discuss and ‘role-play’ conflicts with girls, which did not arise with female teachers concerning conflicts with boys. Also criticized were the demands on teachers’ workloads as a result of their social responsibility for pupils’ welfare, and also lack of institutional support. When the teachers had time to reflect together on their experiences, they seemed willing to criticize norms and representations. Four phases in the mode of talking were identified: (1) the telling of an experience; (2) interpretation of experience as a form of difference, either as deviance or according to gender; (3) narration of experience that contradicts the above dichotomy of difference; and (4) ongoing reflexivity resulting in motivation to change strategy or strengthen former strategies based on a wider awareness of work context.
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