In this module the students will practice in viewing at education, at schools not only as “institutions” or “systems”, but also as social spaces, which is produced by the actions of the involved subjects, but simultaneously is producing these subjects.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course wants to broaden up our perspective on school towards seeing it as living social space where different subjects are acting, working, consequently are creating and are being shaped. Thus, school is at the same time producer and product of social practices through which an important societal contradiction is being articulated/organized: the contradiction between the “need for learning/education” (the development of the individuals) and the “need for power/control” (i.e. the reproduction of the relations and structures of power in society).
The efficient organization/articulation of this contradiction though does not determine absolutely the actions of the (different) subjects in a dichotomical structure “either-or”: either learning and individual growth or reproduction of power. The contradictory character itself is being constituted in a dialectic muddle where both sides exist. The social organization of this contradiction (as the social space called “school”) reserves for the involved subjects always a double-face: constrains and opportunities, hindrances and facilitations, possibilities and exclusions. The subjects have “good reasons” on their own to participate in this social space, but have to face also enforcements.
The module wants to contribute to the discussions within social psychology on the “microphysics” and “micropolitics” of the contradictory everyday life in educational spaces, e.g. schools. In this vein, it wants to make some “micro-incisions” in this everyday life. We want to trace the dialectics, the contradictions in the practices of these different subjects in this social space, focusing on two goals:
• We want to understand, record and research the (virtual and tangible) conflicts in which (and through which) subjects like teacher or students have to remain capable of acting and expand their capabilities.
• We want also understand, record and research the products of this educational (school) regimes and the actions of the subjects.
social space, school, schooling regime, subjects, microphysics of power, micropolitics of action