London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Work is what the teacher tells you to do

Author(s) Merryn Hutchings  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2000  
Editor Alistair Ross, Curricula for Citizenship in Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
Comments: Children in Britain describe the majority of their activities in school as work. They characterise work as activity that is not done by choice, is constrained, and is not about having fun. There is a large body of evidence that teachers use the word work in the classroom to refer to set activities within the school curriculum, and it has been shown that there are many ways in which teacher?s talk about work at school can be seen as an aspect of children?s socialisation, and a preparation for the world of adult work. However, books about teaching use a different terminology, laying the emphasis on learning rather than work, and referring to learning activities. The paper will consider this tension, and will consider teachers? constructions of the children?s work at school.

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