The social engineering of civility in a progressive middle school
This paper discusses the efforts of teachers at a progressive U.S. middle school to socially engineer the ontology of a group of 7th and 8th grade girls to become more inclusive in their relationships with their peers. I argue that this effort was authoritative and that the teacher-promoted civility discourse usurped students' genuine dialogic investigation of the realities faced in their relationships with each other. In response to these social engineering efforts, I discuss the need for ontological, eventful dialogue as characterised by Bakhtin's (1999) notion of internally persuasive discourse to sensitively and meaningfully address interpersonal conflict and social exclusion.
Learning, Culture and Social Interaction
Smith, Mark Philip, "The social engineering of civility in a progressive middle school" (2023). Kean Publications. 16.