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Publication Detail
Pupils’ fear in the classroom: Portraits from Palestine and England
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
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  • Authors:
    Hargreaves E, Affouneh S
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Research in Childhood Education: an international journal of research on the education of children
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
This paper explores the concept of fear related to the authoritarian classroom and how children express its influence on their learning. Its investigations draw on the comments of four classes of primary-aged pupils, two from a school near London, England and two from boys’ and girls’ schools in the West Bank, Palestine. It is written by one English and one Palestinian author. We ascertained that all four classrooms were underpinned by an authoritarian pedagogy, reflected in a dependence relationship in which the teacher is dominant and pupils dependent. Despite the very different political contexts of the two settings for this research, our findings indicated that the persistence of a hierarchical normalising judgement in both settings seemed to provoke fear of the teacher’s disappointment, disapproval and/or punishments. Pupils’ fear in both settings led to their feeling lost, lacking confidence, keeping silent and being distracted from their learning.
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