CLASSROOM POWER RELATIONS

Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction
Mary Phillips Manke Mankato State University LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOCIATES, PUBLISHERS 1997 Mahwah, New Jersey London -iiiQuestia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com Publication Information: Book Title: Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction. Contributors: Mary Phillips Manke - author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 1997. Page Number: iii.

Chapter 1 Introduction
Who has power in classrooms? Most people would say it is the teacher who has power. Willard Waller, an early sociologist of education, wrote in 1932, "Children are certainly defenseless against the machinery with which the adult world is able to enforce its decisions: the result of the battle [between teachers and students] is foreordained" (p. 196). Waller's statement expresses the understanding of classroom power that prevails for most people--teachers, administrators, educational re searchers--in our culture. It is an understanding that focuses on opposition between teachers and students as well as one that assigns power to the teacher alone. In this book, you will read about a much more complex conception of classroom power. It portrays students and teachers in power relationships they build together and calls into question common assumptions about the workings and results of power in the classroom. Underlying Waller's statement is this belief: The teacher must have the power in the classroom. Let us work out some of what this belief implies. First, it seems to mean that power is something you can have, an object that a person can own. In this book, the understanding of power is quite different: Power is a structure of relationships--a structure in which teachers and students can build or participate. Power is not an object and cannot be owned by anyone. The structure of relationships is called power because it, rather than the individuals who create it, is what shapes people's actions. -1Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com Publication Information: Book Title: Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction. Contributors: Mary Phillips Manke - author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 1997. Page Number: 1.

Chapter 5 Teachers' Organization of Time and Space: One Aspect of Classroom Power Relations
In almost any classroom, an observer can watch teachers engaged in direct interaction with students that is intended to control student behavior and promote student learning. Yet, this is only one aspect of teachers' efforts to pursue this agenda. Outside the students' view, teachers plan and carry out other actions before students even come into the classroom. Thus, they contribute to the building of the structure called "What Teachers and Students Can Do Here," building walls and creating living space, without the possibility of immediate conflict with students. It is these "invisible" ( Hustler & Payne, 1982) arrangements that are the focus of this chapter. Teachers often consider the ways they organize time and space in their classrooms to be part of classroom management. Classroom management authorities call this proactive management, management that prevents trouble from happening, rather than dealing with it after it happens. Teachers arrange desks so they can see all the students, provide an activity for students to start on as soon as they enter the room, and leave enough space near the door for students to stand in an uncrowded line. They arrange furniture so that students have to move in a controlled manner from one area to another; they make sure they have more than enough for students to do during each class period, thus, avoiding "dead time" when trouble can occur. All these are tactics teachers use in pursuit of their agenda to control student behavior so that students can learn. Yet, teachers may also consider arrangements of time and space in terms of curriculum content and instructional methods. They may arrange desks -63Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com Publication Information: Book Title: Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction. Contributors: Mary Phillips Manke - author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 1997. Page Number: 63.

Chapter 7 Defining Classroom Knowledge: The Part That Students Play
Because schools are intended to be places where learning occurs, the question of what will count as knowledge is especially important. What counts as knowledge is a determining factor in what students actually learn. That is why this aspect of classroom power relationships--how students contribute to the process of determining what will count as classroom knowledge--is the focus of this chapter. In traditional sociological and political analysis, the power to define what will count as knowledge is assigned to the teacher. The larger society--de fined as the structure of the school, the expectations of administrators,

parents, and community members, and all kinds of curriculum materials--is thought to influence the teacher's use of this defining power. Although the actions of students described in this chapter are surely affected by the same larger society that influences teachers' actions, the analysis I present here focuses on student actions exerting influence on what will be learned in a given classroom. I stress this point because so many writers in education have focused on the influence of the teacher, or of society through the teacher. Some view this influence as a primary instru ment for the oppression or control of students, particularly those who are culturally different from the majority; others see it as a necessary part of the transmission of the desirable aspects of an historic culture. Without denying that one of the ways teachers contribute to constructing classroom power relationships is to influence the definition of classroom knowledge, I look in this chapter at how students also influence this definition. In doing so I am opening up the possibility of looking at how the influence of the -92Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com Publication Information: Book Title: Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction. Contributors: Mary Phillips Manke - author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 1997. Page Number: 92.

Chapter 9 How Is It Useful to Look at Classrooms in This Way?

The last four chapters of this book have explored several questions in the context of an interactive constructivist theory of power relations: • How do teacher choices about the physical organization of classrooms and the kinds of activities that take place in them contribute to the construction of power relations? • Why and how do teachers cloak their contributions to power relations behind politeness formulas and indirect discourse strategies? • What kinds of student and teacher actions contribute to defining what is to count as classroom knowledge in a particular classroom at a particular time? • What student actions can be understood as being in conflict with teachers' arrangements of classroom time and space? • What student actions can be understood as seeking to make the teachers's agenda visible so it can be challenged? • What kinds of student actions can be understood as their efforts to create areas within power relations in which they can act freely? The study on which this book is based makes a start at answering such questions, and suggests what kinds of analysis can produce more complete answers. The individual qualities of the three classrooms, with their teachers and students, as described in chapters 2, 3, and 4, must be kept in mind in thinking about the details of the analysis. The study belongs to a research genre that calls on readers to make judgments about the validity of its conclusions. By providing "thick description" ( Geertz, 1973) of the three -126Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com Publication Information: Book Title: Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction.

He suggests that our belief that power is real is based on our recognition that we can affect the actions of others. ( 1988). Inc. Explorations.questia. This idea is exactly the one that saddles teachers with total responsibility for what happens in their classrooms. • Bell R. We claim that people can control both their own actions and those of others so that we can hold them responsible. . Critiques • Barnes B. England: Polity Press. Barnes considers it a convenient falsehood. Appendix Exploring Ideas About Power Relations in Classrooms For readers who seek to add depth and context to the ideas in this book. Barnes believes that people use the concept of power to make moral judgments of other's actions. Page Number: 126. Contributors: Mary Phillips Manke . Definitions. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Publication Year: 1997.. The nature of power. & Harper L. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Contributors: Mary Phillips Manke .com -140- Publication Information: Book Title: Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction. Cambridge. Child effects on adults. Questia Media America. Place of Publication: Mahwah. NJ. I: WHAT IS POWER? A. Place of Publication: Mahwah. We connect power too closely with the possession of coercive resources. here is a bibliography of books and articles relevant to many of the issues that have been raised. and need to expand our under standing of the sources of power. Barnes holds that knowledge is a key source of power.author.author. ( 1977). www. NJ.

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the new baby be a monster? And in a less extreme vein: will they bring the same frustrations and difficulties that we have encountered . however hopeful our anticipation. Will the new job be a failure. unsullied. Unless. a book.Chapter 1 THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE OF LEARNING AND TEACHING Hopeful and fearful expectations A new year. the ideal we have never given up searching for. of course. the beginning of a new relationship. a new job. But. past disillusionment has blunted our capacity for hope. pointing to the uncertainty and doubts which tend to beset us. we also harbour fears about the future. the journey end in disaster. it holds the promise of meeting some need as yet unmet. made us fearful of risking disappointment yet again. a course of study-eagerly we turn to each new event with expectant hope. the course worthless. the new year bring disease and death. Untried. 'Aller Anfang ist schwer' (every beginning is hard) says the wise German proverb. the fulfilment of desires as yet unfulfilled. a new baby.

. Will. leaving us poised as we enter upon it between wondrous excitement and anxious dread. any thoughts emerge.before and had hoped to escape from? It is of the nature of beginning that the path ahead is unknown. I am filled with some degree of expectant hope. something to start this chapter with/I have recently been confronted with a group of teaching staff from primary. out of this uncertainty and confusion. yet I am mainly burdened by the weightiness of the task that lies ahead. I become aware that these doubts and agonies are part and parcel of beginning. ideas be clothed into meaningful phrases. And then a somewhat reassuring thought occurs: 'I do have a basis in experience. are the essence of any creative work. Empty pages face me as my mind is alternately a blank and in a state of chaos. secondary and tertiary education beginnning a course at the Tavistock on Aspects of Counselling in Education. As I begin to write this book. will they form themselves into some order? Do I have anything worthwhile to contribute? But as I reflect upon this despair.

Elsie Osborne .author.A group of fifty strangers faced me this month at the start of the -3Questia Media America. it becomes essential to examine the attitudes and expectations he brings to the relationship. Gianna Williams . The teacher will be aware of some of these and not at all aware of others. yet they will all deeply colour the way he views (a) the nature of his role.com Publication Information: Book Title: The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching. www. Page Number: 3. Publication Year: 1999.author. Publisher: Karnac Books. Place of Publication: London.questia. Inc. (b) the way . Contributors: Isca SalzbergerWittenberg .author. Chapter 3 Aspects of the teacher's relationship to the student Introduction Once we realise the crucial role the teacher plays in the mental and emotional life of students.

His convictions will be based on his life experiences and what he has learnt from them. He was enthusiastic about English. interprets and responds to the students' behaviour. Let us consider the following statements made by student teachers in discussing their choice of career: 'I enjoyed school and liked my literature teacher in particular. or alternatively. It will be of the utmost importance whether the teacher's attitudes are based primarily on an identification with the good qualities of parents and teachers and an appreciation of a child's difficulties and struggles. on the more unhelpful qualities of his parents and teachers and/or his own unsatisfied child-like desires. and (c) the way he expects to be regarded by them. They will have developed on the basis of what he felt towards those responsible for his education (not only his teachers but members of his family and other mentors). but was . encouraged me to go on when I felt hopeless about my progress. the way he perceived their adult behaviour and how they set about the fulfilment of their task as educators.he perceives.

Many . Publisher: Karnac Books.strict when I was shirking work. Chapter 5 Idealised relationships In this. Publication Year: 1999.' -39Questia Media America. Place of Publication: London.author. I found him a great help and would like to become like him. and the subsequent two chapers.' 'I hated school. Page Number: 39. I want to let the children do just what they like and I will help them to rebel against anyone in authority.com Publication Information: Book Title: The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching. we shall look at examples which teachers brought from their work experience. Gianna Williams . I couldn't bear all the rules and disciplines. Inc. Elsie Osborne .author. www.questia.author. Contributors: Isca SalzbergerWittenberg . When I become a teacher.

Unreasonable demands on the teacher It may be difficult to continue perceiving oneself as a useful and helpful person when the demands made are very excessive and out of proportion with what one could possibly offer. She was extremely worried about the extent of her commitment and responsibility for one of her . The problem of idealisation is so complex and has so many facets that it might be helpful to focus on one of them at a time. In some cases. One such example was presented by a teacher in Further Education. In others. The pressure to overstep one's limits and to go 'out of one's way to be helpful' can in those cases be very strong.instances of idealisation were brought by teachers to our work discussion group. the idealisation of the teachercounsellor was particularly evident. a child or young adult was exerting great pressure to be idealised by the teacher. but I have tried to select examples where one or the other predominates. Those two aspects are usually closely related.

author.students.com Publication Information: Book Title: The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching. informed her that she had taken an 'LSD trip'. Mrs V prefaced her presentation by saying that she felt she had got very involved. Inc.author. and at student gatherings at the pub. Sandy related that she had taken what she knew to be a -81Questia Media America. but was not sure that Sandy was so afraid herself as she seemed so 'switched off. Contributors: Isca SalzbergerWittenberg . and was still under the drug's influence and frightened. . Mrs V had occasionally been meeting her after lessons. Gianna Williams . www. perhaps over-involved with Sandy.questia. She lived in a hostel and had no contact with her family. The first incident which caused Mrs V alarm occurred one day when she was leaving the college and Sandy. This student of 22 years left school with no qualifications and had recently enrolled at college. Mrs V felt very alarmed. looking very dreamy and lost.

or will ill befall them in our absence? Will they remember us? Can we give up our demand that they be available to us endlessly? Can we cherish their memory and what they gave us? Can we let go of the comfort and . childhood. Place of Publication: London. left us to die.author. friend. the end of a school year. mentor? Have they abandoned us to our fate. Publication Year: 1999.Elsie Osborne . We have to come to terms with losing what has sustained and supported us and those whom we have needed. partner. to feel lonely and bereft? Will they come back again. Publisher: Karnac Books. youth. loved and depended on. bereavement and the end of our life-all these situations in varying degrees confront us with the experience of loss. Page Number: 81 Chapter 10 Different kinds of endings Introduction The end of term. the temporary or permanent end of an important relationship. Will we be able to manage without the presence of parent. the end of school.

as the saying goes: 'better the devil you know than the one you don't know. youth-of life itself. The anxieties and pain which accompany such situations are rarely faced. yet how these experiences are dealt with is of great importance in determining what of the past can be retained and used creatively in the present and future. We may in addition dread what might take its place. children experience frequent staff changes. childhood. Transfer to another teacher In most schools.privileges of babyhood.' It is only if the past or present is disastrous that we contemplate the end with sheer relief. They are passed regularly from one teacher to another as lessons follow each other -139- . We shall examine some of the ordinary ending situations in the lives of students and teachers. without too much resentment? Even a conflict-laden situation may be hard to part from for it offers some sense of security by being familiar.

Place of Publication: London.author.Questia Media America. Gianna Williams . Revised Edition Bryant/ Zillmann ∣ Perspectives on Media Effects Ellis/ Donohue ∣ Contemporary Issues in Language and Discourse Processes Winett ∣ Information and Behavior: Systems of Influence Huesmann/ Eron ∣ Television and the Aggressive Child: A Cross-National .questia. Contributors: Isca SalzbergerWittenberg . Page Number: 139. Television. www. COMMUNICATION A series of volumes edited by: Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant Zillmann/ Bryant ∣ Selective Exposure to Communication Beville ∣ Audience Ratings: Radio. Publication Year: 1999. Elsie Osborne .author. Cable. Publisher: Karnac Books.author. Inc.com Publication Information: Book Title: The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching.

and Affect Van Dijk ∣ News as Discourse Wober ∣ The Use andAbuse of Television: A Social Psychological Analysis of the Changing Screen Kraus ∣ Televised Presidential Debates and Public Policy Masel Walters/ Wilkins/ Walters ∣ Bad Tidings: Communication and Catastrophe Salvaggio/ Bryant ∣ Media Use in the Information Age: Emerging Patterns of Adoption and Consumer Use Salvaggio ∣ The Information Society: Economic. Social. Social Cognition.Comparison Gunter ∣ Poor Reception: Misunderstanding and Forgetting Broadcast News Olasky ∣ Corporate Public Relations: A New Historical Perspective Donohew/ Sypher/ Higgins ∣ Communication. and Structural Issues Botan/ Hazleton ∣ Public Relations Theory Zillmann/ Bryant ∣ Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations Becker/ Schoenbach ∣ Audience Responses to .

pay more attention. They influence others by the rewards they give and the punishments they use. They are seen as experts and. as a consequence. Kreiser University of Texas Teachers gain power and influence in the classroom in a number of ways. as teachers. This . They depend on students' recognizing that they. Daly Pamela O. in the end. learn more. and.Media Diversification: Coping With Plenty Richards ∣ Deceptive Advertising: Behavioral Study of a Legal Concept Flagg ∣ CHAPTER 8 Affinity in the Classroom John A. And they bolster their interpersonal relationships with students. hoping that if students like them they will heed their instructions. have students engage in the behaviors they recommend. participate more actively. hold a power position in the school different from others.

until recently. But surprisingly. The observation that teachers who are liked by their students are more effective in classrooms than teachers who are disliked may seem obvious to many. Rapport. however. 1991). ETS noted that one of the characteristics of good teaching is the establishment and maintenance of teacher rapport with students (ETS Policy Notes.chapter is about this last strategy -influencing students through enhancing students' affinity for their teachers. in many ways. In the past few years. represents affinity. there has been little systematic examination of that presumption. . scholars primarily in the field of communication have begun to carefully examine how teachers try to get students to like them and the consequences of those attempts. Reflecting this research is a recent national project sponsored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). In its new national assessment for beginning teachers (PRAXIS).

www. . Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.com Publication Information: Book Title: Power in the Classroom: Communication. NJ. and Research Programs: An International Assessment of Practical Problems in Field Research -iiQuestia Media America. Place of Publication: Hillsdale. James C. Control. Richmond . Page Number: 121.editor. Formative Evaluation for Educational Technologies Narula/ Pearce ∣ Cultures.com Publication Information: Book Title: Power in the Classroom: Communication. and Concern.questia. McCroskey editor. www.This chapter reviews the recent literature on affinity with special -121Questia Media America. Inc. Control. Publication Year: 1992. Contributors: Virginia P. Inc.questia. Politics.

there is a .editor. There are three conclusions that can be drawn from the previous chapters on power and communication. McCroskey editor. CHAPETER 4 Power in the Classroom: Seminal Studies Virginia P. David Roach Texas Tech University In this chapter we review the early research on power and communication in the organizational environment and the early studies in the instructional environment that were spawned from that work. Contributors: Virginia P. Page Number: ii. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Publication Year: 1992. Richmond . NJ. conclusions and explanations are drawn concerning the communication of power. Richmond West Virginia University K.and Concern. First. Place of Publication: Hillsdale. After the previous studies are reviewed. James C.

power is a perception. teacher-student. That power can be established in any relationship (e. in almost all relationships there is a point when one person will try to exert power over another through communication. g. wife-husband. One person grants the other power over her or him. supervisor-employee. If power is not perceived. power cannot be exerted by another.certain amount of power rooted in most relationships. Third. Richmond was interested in the use of informal power of opinion leaders on information -47- . opinion leader follower. For example. Second. power and commu nication are inextricably related. INFORMAL INFLUENCE Some of the earliest work on power and communication started with Richmond and her colleagues in the latter part of the 1970s. husband-wife)..

student cognitive and affective learning. Inc. and Concern. CHAPTER 5 Teacher Power in the Classroom: Defining and Advancing a Program of Research Timothy G. Our research team discovered early .questia.and off-task behaviors and thus. Place of Publication: Hillsdale.com Publication Information: Book Title: Power in the Classroom: Communication. Publication Year: 1992. James C. Control. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. McCroskey editor. Contributors: Virginia P.editor. Plax Patricia Kearney California State University. www.Questia Media America. Page Number: 47. Richmond . NJ. Long Beach Over the last decade we have been examining how teachers employ power in the classroom to manage student on.

and other interested consumers regarding teachers' communica tion of power and influence in the classroom and correspondingly. re searchers.on that these issues are both difficult to delineate conceptually and to untangle empirically. taking stock of our programmatic efforts after almost 10 years suggests that we have made substantial progress in both the theoretical and the empirical explication of what has become a wellrecognized area of instructional communication research. We feel that from what our team has discovered thus far we can comfortably draw several conclusions for teachers. students' reactions to teachers' attempts at control. We are comfortable. however. That is. that we have a better understanding of these issues after a decade of investigation. Part of being able to utilize what is suggested to practitioners by a body of literature is that they understand the way the research was conceived and conducted. practitioners are . Unfortunately.

Page Number: 67. Richmond . In an effort to ameliorate this shortcoming.editor. Contributors: Virginia P." Emanating from this overview is our second and equally important -67Questia Media America. evolution.questia. the primary objective of this chapter is to overview in general terms the origins and the continuing development of the program of research referred to in the instructional communication literature as "Power in the Classroom. and Concern. James C. www. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Inc. Place of Publication: Hillsdale.not typically assisted by inves tigators to understand the origins. McCroskey editor. Control. or the actual conduct of investigations. NJ.com Publication Information: Book Title: Power in the Classroom: Communication. Publication Year: 1992. .

This chapter provides an examination of the concern framework and suggests its usefulness in understanding classroom power and control. One framework for understanding teacher and student perspectives is that which has been labeled concern. and power and control in the classroom. the origin of the teacher concern construct is explicated. over two decades of research on the concerns of teachers is reviewed. Staton University of Washington Insight into teacher and student perspectives is important in understanding the teaching process. the potential relationship of teacher concern to teacher power and control is explored. Fourth. Second. Third.CHAPTER 10 Teacher and Student Concern and Classroom Power and Control Ann Q. First. the potential relationship of student concern to power . classroom communication.

a view is presented of power and control as dynamic processes negotiated in the classroom between teacher and students. and Concern.questia. Control. Inc. Contributors: Virginia P.editor. ORIGIN OF THE TEACHER CONCERN CONSTRUCT In a landmark study. She defined concerns as: -159Questia Media America. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum . Fuller ( 1969) examined the developing concerns of prospective teachers in order to discover the nature of the concerns and whether they could be categorized into a conceptual framework or model. James C. Richmond . www.com Publication Information: Book Title: Power in the Classroom: Communication. Finally. McCroskey editor.and control is examined.

NJ. OBSERVATION GUIDE: TEACHER-STUDENT INTERACTION Professional Methods Field Experiences . Publication Year: 1992. Place of Publication: Hillsdale. Page Number: 159.Associates.

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