Inscribing spaces and experiences for subjectivity in the primary school : an ethnographic approach
Sancho, Juana María
Contributor(s)Universitat de Barcelona. Facultat de Belles Arts
Teacher Education, School Innovation and New Technologies
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AbstractEste texto se presentó como comunicación al II Congreso Internacional de Etnografía y Educación: Migraciones y Ciudadanías. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, 5-8 Septiembre 2008.
The aim of this paper is present some issues and findings coming from the ethnographic Studies developed at four primary schools as part of the research project “The role of primary school in the construction of children’s subjectivities” (BSO2003-06157, sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, 2003-2006). The main emphasis of this presentation is to explore the ethnographic decisions taken to cope with the necessity of sharing a common methodological frame and, at the same time, to response in a flexibly way to the particular differences of each school institution. A constructionist methodological approach (Guba and Lincoln, 1994; Schawandt, 1994; Gergen, 2006) has guided the research, by combining document analysis with interviews, discusión groups and ethnographic studies (Denzin, 1997). From the evidences collected four kaleidoscopic stories have been written. The process to construct this methodology started by making discourse analysis of documents produced by educational authorities, political parties and initial teachers’ education trainers in order to make explicit their main representations of childhood and main subjectivity representations. This research has developed a narrative approach to ethnography based on experimenting between the modes of observation, and their transcription into narratives that bring an undecided and fragmentary view of experience. This narrative approach complements with a performative perspective on subjectivity, which is based on avoiding the fixation of subjective patterns, and on favoring the description of processes and fluxes, even when those showed discontinuities, contradictions, and gaps in the construction of subjectivity. Due to the complexity of this research, because of the multiplicity and diversity of agents and voices intervening, as well as the different trajectories of ourselves as researchers, it was crucial to discuss and share any emerging issue in the comings and goings of the ethnographical teams registered by them by means of drafts. To be able to carry out this work the four teams conducting the fieldwork met monthly with the whole research group. Four stories written under the narrative perspective (Clandinin and Connely, 2000) were produced. The final ethnographic report of each school preserves and collages the different observational and narrative strategies developed by the researchers. These narratives show the main features of children’s experiences of subjectivity produced at these primary schools, and allowed to researchers and teachers to infer theoretical knowledge and educational considerations by establishing several comparisons among them. Each of them reflects on shared themes, while it also emphasizes the singularities of each observational practice and the particular stories of the observed groups and places. These themes could be common or differentiated among schools.