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In contrast to the belief system presented by structuralism, post-structuralism exhibits that descriptive premise presented by structuralism is contradicted by dependence on borrowed concepts. Hence, a perspective of post-structuralism mirrors that inquiry is inevitably shaped by interpretive as well as discursive practices of individuals. I believe that a concept of post-structuralism driven by Michel Foucault is largely relevant in a structure of education and norms in early years of childhood and its prevalence in educational institutes. In this assignment I am going to address how my personal experiences in first school and new school have worked upon shaping my behaviour.
This reflective account presented in this study will be backed up with Foucauldian theory to derive a critical essence of this entire piece. An essential connection between theory and personal practices in school while observing stringent behavioural inclusion and exclusion norms in education will also be discerned to reflect my knowledge.
Classrooms are considered as the extreme place of learning possibility, however for many years it is being used by the teachers and students as a platform for opportunistic concerns rather than a platform to learn. I remember that, at age of seven, I was admitted to a private school far away from my locality. At this age I did not possess appropriate skills and knowledge to handle the tasks effectively at a school level. This school environment was absolutely new for me and I came to meet with many children of my age. This sudden new environment and having so many people around me created a feeling of nervousness within me. According to Laws and Davies (2000: 216) post structuralism motivates a way of looking at the world with a view of accepting challenges as ‘knowledge’ and ‘truth’. Nevertheless, I tried to cope with the environment along with other students in order to gain best learning experience. With the help of post-structuralism, I can explain that I have the dilemma of selecting and rejecting experiences or situations that I went through at that age of school.
The challenging situation of the school environment as well as lack in my understanding capacity is the main cause of fear at that time. In few days, I found that there is strong punishment system like corporal punishment that is considered as the most common form of violence against children. Such activities performed by the teachers and a school on a whole for any working attitude within school premises have caused developing fear within me at that age. In Focault’s disciplinary regime, corporal punishment is not considered as a way of correcting mistakes. According to Foucault disciplinary punishment is corrective (Foucault, 1979: 179).Based on this view of Focault I was once caned just for laughing at the age of five years and I was unable to recognise what I have done wrong. This incident sow a seed of fear within me and other children about schools and revealed the operation of power.This fear of me further increased as I was small enough to be able to differentiate between right and wrong.
The advantage of post-structuralist theoretical concepts indicates an understanding of the discursive nature which includes numerous levels of dimensions such as gestures, speech, move and many more of different social aspects (Panizza and Miorelli, 2013: 301). Therefore, as per the concept of this theory I can said that absence of enough clear ideas has not helped me at that time. These issues include inappropriate timing of the school as a result I got less time for preparing myself. Disciplines of Foucault's is considered as a type of power and required manners for its exercise by including sets of practises, procedures and so on (Nian, 2021:4). In order to deal with those issues that I was dealing with at this stage of school, discipline has helped me a lot in coming out of this situation.
I remember that, due to not being able to manage time, I was punished by the teachers for several days. However, Focault’s view of punishment describes that torture is not a solution to punishment and power of an institution can be reduced for influencing punishments use by the institutions (Jouet, 2021:3). Disciplinary regimes consist of actions concerned with making it obvious that people obey rules otherwise get punished. For example, the disciplinary regime of Foucault in the context of education includes the act of obeying the rules and regulations created by school authority. Therefore, maintaining this disciplinary regime of Foucault, I along with other children was always in the rule of silence and observed by our teachers. However, this first school of mine has not discussed all the principles and rules followed here along with I was unaware of the punishments that they give to children if those rules are not followed. The experience that I gained from this school was mostly negative; however, I cannot forget the memory of the playing time that I used to enjoy the most.
Disciplinary gaze, which is used to maintain discipline in advanced neo-liberal societies by including normalisation, surveillance, self-regulations, is the main aspect that has created issues in the forts of this new school for me. This school created disciplinary rules and regulations specially bound to me, which has created a feeling of discrimination within me.
I have witnessed more strict norms and rigidity in my previous school, which in the Foucauldian perspective, seems highly ‘austere’. Ball (2012: 5) represents a post-structuralist concern regarding ‘modalities of freedom’ as well as ‘production of docility’, which I believe not witnessed in my previous school. I have not enjoyed even the freedom of laughing which is can be the representation of ‘modalities of freedom’ in post-structuralism concern. However, my perception about schools at the age of seven changed a lot by joining this school where I was encountered with a disciplinary regime. In my previous school I dealt with the experiences of being humiliated, caned and shouted at, on the other hand in new school I along with other children were being observed from a discursive lens. Discursive practices in Foucault’s analytic framework are a set of regimes or practices of information and knowledge formation (Bacchi and Bonham, 2014: 173). Foucault noticed that the secondary schools are the first institutions that have used disciplinary methods. In this school I came to know the benefits of following all the disciplines and how it can help me in strengthening my future.
In my previous school, I was forced to act within a norm by the teachers with the implementation of individualistic discipline whereas in this local primary school, I am allowed to free play at playtimes. However, just having play time does not mean I was not in a disciplinary regime. Disciplines in which along with other children was in this school was not that for me to follow and I was quite responsible toward those disciplines. These disciplines include being present within the schools at reading times along with playing times, sharing mutual respect toward each other and so on. Referring to ‘Control of activity’ (Sheridan, 1977: 149), I found freedom to act more effectively as well as exponentially. Besides that, a wide range of changes in new school has contributed in changing my assumptions and fear about school at an early age along with developing my academic knowledge and skills. Moreover, I was comfortable taking part in discipline training along with other knowledge gaining sessions that work on improving my body in being more efficient and productive.
I found that I was not that much engaged with other children in taking part in joyful activities and becoming under confident while making new bonds. It reminds me about my experience in previous school and the post-structuralism concept work here in adopting the best knowledge from challenging situations. Hope (2015: 538) suggests ‘technology of power’ relates not only to a standard curriculum but also to additional assessments, and hence, going beyond Foucault becomes essential. I found that my ‘functional ability’ is the main barrier in influencing my communication with other children in this school. Though my experiences in previous schools instilled a sense of ‘disciplinary gaze’ (Sheridan, 1977: 174) in me, I found it challenging in this school. I was aware that I was doing something wrong but it was not possible for me to recognise it. I was encouraged by my teachers to speak up more in class but all I found myself being more confused. ‘Disciplinary practices’ are closely related to ‘disciplinary power’, which led to my behaviour of not talking, which is persisting in this school also (Anderson and Grinberg, 1988: 330).
Children in my previous school were positioned to explore what was an acceptable response by relying on ‘disciplinary gaze’ and external influences presented by us reinforce. Conversely, I was diagnosed quickly as a problem, and hence, in this new ‘austere’, I was quite aware that I was doing something wrong though I was not sure of what was that. Foucault (1975: 18) illustrated disciplinary punishment as a modern penal system, which is to be corrective, and I met a nearly similar experience in the new school just like the previous one. Nevertheless, I tried to cope with this situation and not considering myself under a cage yet I was feeling a vague sense of what is right and what is wrong.
Rigid Disciplinary norms, such as ‘buggers to behave’ (Slee, 2013: 02) in my previous school have not only shaped my own behaviour to adjust. The discipline regime in my previous school made me confused while in new school it was difficult for me to navigate actual disciplines and rules at the age of seven. Maclure et al. (2012: 448) illustrated that ‘problem behaviour’ is often associated with substandard impulse control, which I faced in my previous school.
According to Foucault (2007: 445), this model is used to manage the educational fields. It is helping to manage critical situations that have occurred in the schools. Here, madness, punishment, human science and many other things are included to manage the educational environment. I have learned that Foucault model is helping to change the terminology, development functions, improve contemporary educational aspects and this model develops many other things. My educational field can be improved by implementing this framework and it will help to change the academic structure or environment in the school. According to mu understanding, this model can improve the academic experience and develop the pedagogical practices (Eric.ed.gov, 2022).
I felt constantly under pressure as being scrutinised, portraying controversial concept of ‘disciplinary gaze’ (Sheridan, 1977: 174) of Foucault’s model. In addition, such controlled time and space in school premises reflect a disciplinary regime in all spaces throughout the school. In this context, I believe my experience of controlled rein forcers and enablers can draw post-structuralist contexts of disciplinary power, which is driven by disciplinary gaze of Foucauldian theory. I realised that the power of the school along with head teachers has worked on developing fear within me and other children at an age of only five. Besides that, its detachment from any crime made this punishment and disciplinary regime more and more powerful and mostly develop fear among us rather than making us thinking or efficient learners Sheridan, (1977: 77) further refined that it can be converged with ‘technologies of power’, which is intended to train individuals (us) towards self-government, and hence, can be considered as ‘Bio-power’ or ‘Bio Politics’. Foucault model is defining the concept of regulation and administrative factors, which are creating target population in the school. Here, bio-power is helping to increase the energy of body, so that diverse techniques and numerous explosions can be achieved to control the population. Usually, disciplinary students are focused in their goals and working hard to achieve goals, which are often interwoven into institutional culture of schools through disciplinary techniques (Hope, 2016: 02).
Behaviour management is very important for all students. Based on the module guide, I have learned that attitude and behavioural structure is very important to change the educational field. Proper disciplinary rules, guidelines, languages, politeness, psychological aspects and other relevant factors are needed to maintain for students, so that they can learn more sessions that are interesting from school. In the inclusion part, different philosophical aspects, psychological management, self-management factors and many other things are needed to implement to increase the knowledge and skills for future development of students. It can be said that ethnicity, legal maintenance, physical and mental healthcare factors and other relevant things can influence all students; here Foucault model can help to grasp the advanced academic structure in the school. During my previous school, I was once caned just for laughing, which resulted in fear and terror among us all, which surely reflects Foucault’s ‘disciplinary power’ (Anderson and Grinberg, 1988: 330). Disciplinary power can be gathered through maintaining social tasks, academic events, functionalities and many other things. In this case, all teachers and academic management should provide effective guidelines to all students to teach them a proper behavioural structure, which is helping to develop their career and maintain their activity in the school. With the help of this power, I can increase my ability, promote my self-management efficiency, and develop the capacity to grasp skills, knowledge and attributes. In this way, students can get to learn various training attributes with the help of theoretical models.
Acquainted with such a disciplinary regime, my transition to a primary school at seven has extracted challenges to cope up with discourses and practices. I believed that conventional restraint of space and time is vital for any educational institute, whereas my perceptions were completely questioned as I came into next primary school. Foucault’s critique regarding revolutionary concepts of ‘power’ related to institutions (Foucault and Kritzman, 2013: 21), which organise social lives of individuals comes into play. This particular transition related to a disciplinary regime in the next school derived a wider perception of notions being ‘discursive’ for me (Ball, 2012: 14). In this particular school, we were allowed to play freely in playtime, while could also engage in-group works, which mirror a newer discipline. Though time and space were restricted, I found that we were watched with discursive lenses. MacLure et al. (2012: 448) opined that such schooling processes exhibit internalised messages, which enable children to frame themselves as well as others in line with spectrums and dimensions of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and other essentials.
With the help of Bourdieu theory, educational fields can change their rules, regulations, and performative structure, so that they can improve the academic environment. In this case, social, financial, cultural and other relevant things are included to change the objective of educational fields. However, I noticed that Bourdieu theory argued with agency and products, which is called duality of self. In this case, students can improve their sense of humour, social, economic and cultural knowledge to maintain a good educational structure. Now, it is clear that educational field is focused on the social, cultural and economic structure, which are creating a vast area to provide various knowledge and skills to make a wise person. I have focused on habit of students that are very important to maintain a good behavioural structure in the classroom or academic campus. Secondary school includes cultural capital, economic, social and symbolic capitals. According to Schwan and Shapiro (2011: 109), Foucauldian theory of part three explained corrective training of bodies of individuals with regard to ‘docile body’, which is considered as ‘manoeuvre’ can build a new relationship. I was instructed to function within norms, this particular changed disciplinary regime has overwhelmed me to a large extent, which left me with confusion, exhibiting my ‘struggles’ (Alanen, Brooker and Mayall, 2015: 79). A concept of the Foucauldian model concerning pathologisation can also be drawn in my reflection considering the fact that I was quickly recognised as a problem or pathologised, which is due to myself being refrained from talking in class (Oksala, 2011: 2015). Foucauldian thesis is helping to make a relationship between visibility and subjectivity, which are creating self-disciplinary factors for students. With the help of this model, a philosophical range, sociological perspectives, self-disciplinary factors and other logical aspects can be developed by focusing on this model. I have learned that every practical activity are creating new ideas and enhance the experience of students. Due to this reason, school authorities and management members should be focused on their students by providing new skills and knowledge to encourage them. Apart from this, I can say that this model is making sense about practical activities, sociological concepts, and other relevnta things that are important in the school to increase intellectual property.
According to Laws and Davies (2000: 09), educational institutes are replete with expectations and instructions to convey a message for children to perform activities to come into a domain of ‘good school student’. In this regard, any child within the age of six or seven years old would strive to comply with this aspect, unless, he or she would be labelled as ‘bad’. It finds a resemblance with an argument derived by MacLure et al. (2012: 449), which explained struggles in early years of childhood due to behavioural traits. Referring to ‘Control of activity’ (Sheridan, 1977: 149), I can easily draw my experiences that were confined between disciplinary power and discourses, which determined my behaviour in school.
According to MacLure et al., (2012: 449), under controlled or disruptive behaviour is decreasing the peaceful environment of an academic field. For this reason, proper learning materials are needed to provide for all students. In this case, teachers should provide cognitive skills to enhance their skills and maintain their behavioural structure. I notice that cultural background, meaning attributes, emotional, social and other perspectives are effectively maintaining the attitude of students. Due to this reason, all students have to focus on these components, so that they can change their poor performance in the school. In this way, students can change their attitude, on other hand, cultural diversity, social skill and emotional management can improve their experience.
Throughout this entire reflective account, my grasp is widened regarding the fact that my behaviour, as well as identity, was shaped by a couple of disciplinary regimes of two different schools. For instance, in my first school, I was confronted with utter power of teachers and other hierarchies. It, in turn, portrayed the Bourdieusian framework regarding how dominance of power contributed to my everyday struggles in early childhood (Vuorisalo and Alanen, 2015: 79). In addition, power of this particular disciplinary regime to degrade my behaviour was even severe due to its non-attachment from Foucault’s perception of ‘crime’ (Foucault, 2007: 445). I found that it was not at all productive to deliver learners with effective thinking and ‘functional ability’.
I have perceived the disciplinary regime, which is helping to manage the behavioural structure that may come from inadequate discourse. Here, I found the regimes and institutionalised norms, which are helping to manage my behaviour and creating opportunities to achieve goals. On other hand, the Foucauldian theory is making connection between two schools that is making deficit regime. Additionally, deficit model is associated with the educational field, where academic management can focus on the students’ emotions, behaviour, disability, strength, weakness and other relevant aspects. From this section, I have learned that all educational theories and models are helping to change the academic session and creating many opportunities and facilities for the students.
A glimpse of this reflective account helped me to grasp feasible and productive regimes and norms, which are to be adopted to produce thinking learners. I believe, this is where importance of ‘pedagogy with humanism’ comes forth, which is shaped by Foucauldian concept of subjects in education through ‘pedagogical inter(action)’ (Biesta, 1988: 03). Drawing from delving deep into my reflective account in wake of application of Foucaldian theory, I have pointed out inadequacies, which can enhance one’s grasp and knowledge concerning individual behaviour. In the pedagogy, proper humanism, cultural aspects, disciplinary development and cognitive factors are needed to include, so that students can enhance their knowledge and skills. On other hand, they can get to know the behavioural process while they are communicating with others. I understand that this activity is helping to bring the extra benefits in professional careers of students. Behaviour of all students is playing a vital role and it determines the reputation of the school. Cultural management is also important to make a concrete structure of a student. Therefore, it is clear that pedagogical development can be possible by maintaining all theories, behavioural structure, cultural management and other cognitive skills.
From this above study, it can be concluded that a handful of norms are included in an educational institute, while excluded in others. This transition from one school to another having distinct regimes has challenged my knowledge and perceptions, like seven or six years olds do not have that necessary ability to grasp power politics and other relatives. Throughout this reflective account with a mirror of Foucauldian theory, my knowledge is also widened concerning key areas, such as social power with respect to ‘disciplinary gaze’, ‘docile body’, ‘control of activity’, ‘social power’, and various others. Hence, reflection on my school memories has allowed me to relate to pertinent theory of Foucault along with extracting an analysis. Besides, using published literature has assisted to back up and reinforcing my perceptions.
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