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Originally published in 1984, the articles presented here explore such matters as how teachers maintain order, how they treat their pupils and how they cope with pressure; they examine the ways in which teachers relate to their colleagues, what goes on in staffrooms, how they engage in educational debate, and what their ambitions are. The contributors get to grips with what it is really like to be a teacher, to make sense of the everyday rewards and penalties, opportunities and problems.
This is the hallmark of the ethnographic method of educational inquiry. It brings to life (by close observation and/or in-depth interview) the internal workings of an institution or culture, revealing the perspectives of its members, their roles and adaptations and making explicit the routine or taken-for-granted features of institutional life.
All the papers in the volume are to one degree or another located within this methodological tradition – they all begin with what life is actually like for teachers in schools. Though they draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, from interactionism and ethnomethodology, to Marxism and the ‘New Sociology of Education’; and more besides.
In this volume the editors bring together examples of some of the most important and influential pieces of work which illustrate the range of material, and which have hitherto been spread widely among different research reports, academic journals, and collections of conference papers. Classrooms and Staffrooms provides a fund of quality source materials for initial and in-service teachers.