University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The discovery of the implicit pupil‐teacher social contract

Looker, Benjamin ORCID: (2022) The discovery of the implicit pupil‐teacher social contract. Review of Education, 10 (3). e3378. ISSN 2049-6613

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The study takes a critical realist grounded theory approach to explore the intersection of pupil-teacher relationships and school alienation using experiences of secondary school pupils and teachers. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews with both pupils and teachers. Participants' perceptions and experiences were explored, both positive and negative, to develop an understanding of the perspectives of both actors in reciprocal relationships. The methodological framework for this grounded theory diverges from the popular constructivist design and is, instead, influenced by the classic approach. It is developed to be situated in a critical realist philosophy, emphasising the importance of the emancipatory goal of critical realism. Analysis of the data identified that alienated pupils frequently have difficult relationships with their teachers and discovered a subgroup of pupils who experienced more extreme forms of alienation. An implicit pupil-teacher social contract is presented, describing the emergence of observable actions through the causative mechanism inherent to critical realism. The social contract rests upon the concepts of mutual respect and power. When a pupil believes the contract to have been breached, through the perceived violation of one of these concepts, pupil-teacher relationships begin to deteriorate.

Item Type: Article
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

© 2022 The Author. Review of Education published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Educational Research Association.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: alienation, grounded theory, pupil-teacher relationships, social contracts
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Depositing User: Ben Looker
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 18:08
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 18:08

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