Human contact in the classroom: Exploring how teachers talk about and negotiate touching students
TATE Volume 24, Number 3, ISSN 0742-051X Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
In a “risk society,” as defined by Beck [(1992). Risk society, towards a new modernity (M. Ritter, Trans.) Newbury Park, CA: Sage, see also Castel, R. (1991). From dangerousness to risk. In G. Burchell, C. Gordon & P. Miller (Eds.), The Foucault effect: Studies in governmentality (pp. 281–298). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press], teachers are risky individuals who, “must become permanent objects of their own suspicion” [Jones, A. (2003b). Touching children: Policy, social anxiety, and the ‘safe’ teacher. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 19(2), 112]. The purpose of this study was to explore how four experienced, female teachers for whom “touching” students is a natural component of their teaching, talked about how they made choices about when and how to engage in the risky behavior of touching children. Findings are organized along two axes. The first represents how participating teachers perceived contexts as facilitating or constraining human contact. The second illustrates what conversations about human contact revealed about participants’ teaching selves. This study contributes to the literature on teacher–student relationships as well as the literature on teachers’ decision-making. Implications for future research in teacher decision-making, teacher–student relationships, and teacher education are discussed.
Andrzejewski, C.E. & Davis, H.A. (2008). Human contact in the classroom: Exploring how teachers talk about and negotiate touching students. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 24(3), 779-794. Elsevier Ltd.