Counter-narratives in 'naughty' student accounts: Challenges for the discourse of behaviour management

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The paper is based on a research project that sought to understand schools' behaviour management strategies from the perspective of students who had the most experience of them. It focuses on the contrasting ways in which teacher and student subjectivities are framed and positioned within the discourse. It considers how student accounts were constructed within the framework of the project by engaging with Butler's ideas of how one gives an account of oneself in response to another's call. Also heeding Foucault's call to pay attention to the conditions of truth-telling, the paper looks at how student accounts can be read and put to use. Pupil accounts reveal other selves that encourage a re-thinking of the prior recognition of pupils as (primarily) ‘naughty’ pupils and pose the question of whether they exhibit an aesthetics of the self that maintains a critical relation to existing norms. By destabilising recognition, they expose the limits of the dominant discourse of behaviour management and encourage a deconstructive stance of ‘persistent critique’ towards it. Along the way, the paper also touches upon the methodological dilemmas in researching behaviour management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
JournalDiscourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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