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Places for silence and stillness in schools of today: A matter for educational policy
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0429-570X
2018 (English)In: Policy Futures in Education, ISSN 1478-2103, E-ISSN 1478-2103Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this paper, it is my intention to not only explore the notions and significance of places for silence in education today, but also to develop insights into diverse understandings of silence – such as aspects of power in silence and issues of silent students – to inform school practices and educational policy. The discussion will be illustrated by some students’ experiences of a place in the school’s playground – the silent place known as the Peace Area. The students at this playground emphasised the significance of a silent place, a place of stillness, to visit during one’s time at school. A place for relaxing together with friends, but also a place to be alone with one’s thoughts. The students clearly expressed their desire to withdraw to a silent and peaceful place during the school day. But, how many places of silence and stillness are there in the schools of today? As humans, we are, in our daily life, more or less surrounded by different forms of sounds and noise, but also of silence and stillness, even though we do not always recognise or hear the silence. Silence can also be experienced and understood in various ways: pleasant and something to be longed for or unpleasant and unwelcome – or even in some cases as something to be feared. An essential question to raise for future educational policy is not only to what extent students can be in a place of silence and stillness during the school day, but also whether places of silence and stillness are appreciated in today’s schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018.
Keywords [en]
Places of silence and stillness, silence in school, silent students, educational policy
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69504DOI: 10.1177/1478210318780034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-69504DiVA, id: diva2:1218232
Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-06-14

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Alerby, Eva

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