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School children's reasoning about school rules
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Teaching and Learning in School, Teacher Education and other Educational Settings. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9233-3862
2008 (English)In: Research Papers in Education, ISSN 0267-1522, E-ISSN 1470-1146, Vol. 23, no 1, 37-52 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

School rules are usually associated with classroom management and school discipline. However, rules also define ways of thinking about oneself and the world. Rules are guidelines for actions and for the evaluation of actions in terms of good and bad, or right and wrong, and therefore a part of moral or values education in school. This study is a part of a larger ethnographic study on values education in the everyday life of school. Here the focus is on school rules and students' reasoning about these rules. Five categories of school rules have been constructed during the analysis: (a) relational rules; (b) structuring rules; (c) protecting rules; (d) personal rules; and (e) etiquette rules. The findings show that the students' reasoning about rules varies across the rule categories. The perception of reasonable meaning behind a rule seems to be - not surprisingly - significant to students' acceptance of the rule. According to the students, relational rules are the most important in school. Students also value protecting and structuring rules as important because of the meaning giving to them. Etiquette rules are valued as the least important or even unnecessary by the students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor and Francis , 2008. Vol. 23, no 1, 37-52 p.
Keyword [en]
school rules, discipline, students, meaning-making, values education, moral education
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11913DOI: 10.1080/02671520701651029OAI: diva2:18301

Original publication: Robert Thornberg, School children's reasoning about school rules, 2008, Research Papers in Education, (23), 1, 37-52. Copyright: Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2016-05-04

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