Studies on Pupils and Informal Schooling Processes in Modern Europe
Edited By Anna Larsson and Björn Norlin
I. Introduction: Taking Pupils into Account in Educational History Research
Today, research on informal schooling processes and peer group socialisation among children and teens in contemporary education constitutes a well-established, multidisciplinary field. Few challenge the basic premise that the modern-day school is a multiform meeting place that, particularly outside the classroom – on playgrounds, in hallways and school-related Internet forums, etc. – provides meaningful arenas for the socialization of today’s young, both during and after school hours.
In educational history however, the picture is somewhat different. The latest decade of research has been characterized by an increased interest in cultural perspectives on past schooling and by a growing focus on the linguistic, material, spatial, emotional and sensory physiognomies of education.1 This has engendered a broadened awareness of the dialectical ← 9 | 10 → relationship between for example formal educational policies, architecture, teaching technologies and the individuals subjected to school environments. Even so, the field keeps much of its traditional focus trained on practices connected to formal institutional and pedagogical aspects of education, more or less habitually analyzing schooling as a “top-down”, adult-controlled phenomenon. Features of extracurricular school life such as play and recess, organized forms of pupil self-governance, liberal self-study in local school societies, boarding school culture, national and transnational school youth movements, extramural exchange of ideas between pupils, and more subtle forms of peer group socialization linked to day-to-day school life, are still rarely examined and accounted for in the field.
Aim and Ambition
The ambition of the present volume is to contribute to the...
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