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Revue française de pédagogie, n°213/2021

Les enfants parlent de la classe

Revue française de pédagogie - Recherches en éducation

How children talk about the classroom

According to Bourdieu, talking about an object or about someone means adopting the "constitutive power of language". Questioning the seat of speech then comes to mean calling into question established power relations and starting a fight for the imposition of legitimate categories of analysis. When adults talk about the classroom, they impose a way of perceiving it, of interpreting it. But what happens when children talk about the classroom? How do they perceive the different actors and situations, and with what consequences? What new perspectives emerge from their discourse? These are the questions which this issue will attempt to address. The three articles which comprise this issue report on recent studies which, adopting different approaches, collect children's statements about the classroom using original methods designed to preserve their integrity. They take into account the question of learning, which is crucial for showing up educational inequalities, but do not, however, avoid wider aspects of classroom socialisation which may be linked to them. The analyses consider the socialisation constraints which affect children, and at the same time seek to ascertain how subjects manage to use these constraints to construct unique discourses, and demonstrate ways of approaching the subject which are specific to different stages of childhood.