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At the hart of democracy: Building equality by a didactics of respect and solidarity
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (VAF)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3486-1442
2016 (Swedish)In: NERA 2016, 2016Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The idea of folk high school originated in Denmark by N.F.S. Grundtvig. In Swedish folk high schools adults participate to pursue a personal interest, professional training or get upper secondary grades. One of several purposes with Swedish folk highs schools is to try to strengthen peoples capability to be active participants in a democratic society. Thus, education in folk high schools is mostly goal oriented like many other forms of adult learning. Today the Sweden folk high schools, especially the general course for upper secondary grades experience an increasing amount of participants from a heterogeneous background. The new groups of participants put the teachers didactical skills to the test. The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss a specific aspect of didactics in the folk high school classroom, namely, respect and solidarity. One of the interpersonal aspects that contribute to successful teaching in folk high schools is respect. Respect is fundamental in everyday human relations, but in the classroom, when framed by the conditions and objectives of the institution, respect takes on a special character.

Previous research on the concept of respect shows that respect is essentially an act between a human and an object. Respect may be present when attention is given to the other and his or her doings, in gestures or vocal acts. Communication expressing trust and acknowledging an individual's capacity to interpret and respond displays respect. Disrespectful acts means to ignore, actively or passively, slander, impair anyone or his or her actions. Previous research has also shown that teachers in the folk high schools often carry a sense of solidarity with their participants, a solidarity that is expressed in the didactics of what and how in the classrooms. Solidarity depicts unity and a feeling of unity among people that share the same interests, objectives and responsibilities. In the paper different forms of respect and solidarity from a teacher's perspective will be analyzed on how they manifest themselves in teaching in a folk high school classroom. Data for the analysis was collected with video in 2013 from two classrooms and supplemented with interviews with two teachers. The results show that in the classroom teacher didactical work with students is based on a dynamic communication including a variety of conversations like informative, supportive and regulating. The communication from student to teacher is mostly respectful. Some spontaneous ideas and acts may be disrespectful. One form of respect put to use by the teachers in the classroom is solidarity with the participants and their situation (in the educational system). The results are discussed in the context of previous research on how an attitude of solidarity, serves as both a goal and means in the classrooms. The paper is concluded with a discussion of potential problems with a didactic were aims and means flow together without clear borders, especially towards a goal of active participation in a democratic society. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Folkhighschools, didactics, equality, solidarity, respect
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49578OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-49578DiVA: diva2:915206
Conference
NERA 44th Congress, "Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education", Helsinki, Finland, March 9-11, 2016
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2016-03-31Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • vancouver
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