Signifying the Transition from Modern to Post-Modern Schooling through Analyzing Changes in the Material Culture of Schools
Authors: (Kostas Dimopoulos, Associate Professor of Learning Materials, Dept of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese, Greece)
Abstract: The objective of this chapter is to present how changes in the material culture of schools can signify the transition from modern to post modern schooling. The material culture of schools is perceived here as consisting of the architecture of the corresponding buildings as well as of the material objects (i.e. furniture and equipment) within these buildings. We draw on the key notions of classification and framing borrowed from the seminal work of Basil Bernstein in the field of sociology of education which translate relations of power and control respectively. Classification examines the relations between categories, whether these categories are between institutions, social groups, discourses, or practices. By definition, strong classification formulates well-defined boundaries, whereas weak classification results in blurred or more permeable boundaries between such categories. In other words strong classification is predicated on the rule ‗things must be kept apart‘ while weak classification on the rule ‗things must be put together‘. In this chapter we are especially interested in exploring the symbolic boundaries which are inscribed in the form of material boundaries in the design of school space between categories like: a) school as an institution and its social environment, b) different social groups acting within it, c) different knowledge domains (subjects) and d) different practices.