Det KAN bli bra-Det SKA bli bra. Två livsberättelser om lärande: It CAN get better-It WILL get better. Two life stories about learning
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to contribute to a deeper understanding about how placement discontinuities of children in foster care affect their learning. The aim is to find out more about their learning and what role school plays in their life. A life-world perspective is used and theories mainly developed by Alfred Schütz (2002) build the theoretical framework. The empirical research is mainly based on narratives of a pair of twins at 19 years of age, who agreed to share their life stories and experiences of their time in school. Meetings were arranged separately with Alex, the boy, and Helena, the girl, both eager to participate. They felt that their stories could contribute to knowledge. The stories show that placement discontinuities in their early childhood made memories and their perspective of time blurry. They both suffered severe neglect in two of their foster care placements. School offered them a safe place throughout their adolescent years. However, despite this, they are critical to the teachers who saw that they suffered neglect at home but never acted upon that knowledge. Hence their first-hand experiences suggest that teachers, considered important in earlier research studies, are not as important as friend made or the daily routines that provide certain security in an otherwise uncertain life. The social services didn’t listen or support them. Alex and Helena felt that they had to take care of themselves. Their stories show that both of them are goal-oriented and that they highly value a good education. This is evident since they have always taken responsibility to complete set homework and to make school a functional place where they have also learned to know themselves. Furthermore, it is obvious that the twins have played a tremendous role for each other when their life-world time after time has changed. Alex and Helena’s stories and experiences can give the social services a deeper understanding of what lies behind the statistics. A teacher, who listens, shows support and has ambitious expectations regarding the children’s academic performance, has been confirmed in previous research to be of significant importance. In addition, the study shows that teachers should learn more about children in foster care. A life-world perspective and life-world theories can contribute to an alternative point of view regarding learning in life-world discontinuities. Learning can be reflected on by using Schütz theory about “strangers” as a way of understanding learning in a wider range, especially when there are discontinues in the life-world. The reflections made in this study point out the possibility that schools, as organizations, seem to have independent cultures that can be transferred between one another. In fact there seems to be certain variables that are the same for schools in general and hence it is of significant value to recognize school as a regional life-world. The expectations of how you act as a student and among friends are important for the sense of belonging. It is possible that Alex and Helena succeeded in school partly because some of the things they learned about the first school could be transferred to their new school. The study contributes with two new concepts; “livsvärldsbrott”- life-world-disruption and “livsvärldsbevarande”- life-world-preservation.
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