The Meaning Of Extended Education Seen By School Staff and Parents
Extended Education - as conceived by the editors of the newly launched Journal for Extended Education - is a term that encompasses a variety of public or private forms of educational arrangements. These activities and programmes focus on the social, emotional and academic development of children and young people.
Most European children are enrolled in schools that offer lunch as well as extracurricular activities. In Switzerland however, school-aged children generally participate in school- or community-based programes, forms of private tutoring or after-school activities, that are organised privately and are not linked to the curriculum and the school. Nevertheless a few children - mainly in bigger cities - attend all-day schools. In the cities there is a greater need for all-day schooling due to societal changes (Andresen et al. 2012; Schüpbach, 2010). Efforts to set up new all-day schools are undertaken by several stakeholders, such as the community, parents and political parties. All-day schooling is a carrier for various hopes such as the hope that more equality of opportunity may be provided by schools offering a diverse extended education programs for all children. Learning time can be extended. Special programms can be included into the daily school programm. Schools can develop their own profiles by offering courses and programs that are original, well-designed and linked to the curriculum (Fischer, 2011; Stecher et al. 2009)
All-day schools that serve children from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. four, respectively five times a week are still uncommon in Switzerland. Motivated by the long waiting-lists for any kind of child care, the local school authority in the city of Zurich has decided to set-up all-day schooling in the future as a buttom up school improvement project: primary schools in the city of Zurich are requested to change from the traditional schedule to an extended schedule that offers additional activities for every child and also cover parents' working days from either 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. or from 7a.m. to 6 p.m.
In this study we want to find out how different professionals define the meaning of all day schooling. The research questions are: How do teachers, parents, principals and social workers define all-day schooling; what do they consider as future hopes and what kind of expectations they address to whom.
Diverse professional socialisation, different job description, a heterogeneous school staff, the degree of multiprofessional cooperation as key element for school quality are elements of the theoretical framework. The aim of the research is to shed light on the meaning of extended education and to clarify responsibilities and expectations.
Qualitative approaches are highly suitable to the task of discovering more about the meaning of extended education. Hermeneutic Sociology of Knowledge refers to the theoretical, methodological and operational concept deriving from the work of Hans Georg Soeffner. It examines how subjects of action encounter and appropriate routines and interpretations. As subjects are situated and socialised in routines and interpretations of the given field, they constantly lend these routines new interpretations and thereby invent them in their own individual ways. These independent reinterpretations of given knowledge are in turn fed back into the social field of action and change it (Soeffner, 1989).
In reconstructing the action by making visible the structural and pre-stated problems and possibilities of action, the egological perspective can be attributed to the protagonist. The rational reconstruction of types of egological perspective is sought. Hermeneutic Sociology of Knowledge's aim is to reconstruct or to design options so that the action repertoire of a society is expanded (Reichertz, 2003).
The relevant stakeholders are being interviewed about their understanding and conceptualisation of all day schools in order to develop all-day schools and further enhance extended education. By adopting hermeneutic sociological theory to interpret their hopes as well as their expectations, a reconstruction of social meaning can be achieved that will allow additional understanding for further school improvement efforts. The research aims to trace the practice of action and of life step by step in order to describe and explain how all-day schools came in existence and why in a certain situation something represented a solution for a certain actor (Reichertz, 2005).
Therefore, stakeholders from the same all-day school in the city of Zurich (parents, teachers, social workers and principal) who share the opportunity to design an extended education program for their children are being interviewed.
Hermeneutic Sociology of Knowledge always begins with the individual case and identifies its special features, the special features that differentiate it from other cases to finally develop the general argument, the theory.
To elucidate the social meaning of extended education and to understand and explain people's actions all-day schooling needs to be reconstructed. The individual case as a type is a matter of interest as well as the practice and the theory. Therefore expectations addressed to the various stakeholders as well as fields of misunderstandings can be located. The study’s goal is to clarify responsibilities and expectations in extended education to further support future school improvement activities.
Andresen, S., Blomenkamp, L., Koch, N., Richter, M., Wolf, A. D., & Wrobel, K. (2012). Ideas of Family and Concepts of Responsibility at All-Day Schools. In The Politicization of Parenthood (pp. 299-311). Springer Netherlands.
Fischer, Nathalie; Holtappels, Heinz Günther; Klieme Eckhard, Rauschenbach Thomas, Stecher, Ludwig; Züchner Ivo (2011): Ganztagsschule: Entwicklung, Qualität, Wirkungen. Weinheim: Juventa.
Reichertz, Jo. SOCIOLOGÍA HERMENÉUTICA DEL CONOCIMIENTO HERMENEUTIC SOCIOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE. ARBOR Ciencia, Pensamiento y Cultura. Vol. 189-761, mayo-junio 2013
Richter, Martina; Andresen Sabine (2012). Orte guter Kindheit? Aufwachsen im Spannungsfeld familialer und öffentlicher Verantwortung. Zeitschrift für Erziehung und Sozialisation, 32, 3
Schüpbach, Marianne (2010). Ganztägige Bildung und Betreuung im Primarschulalter. Qualität und Wirksamkeit von verschiedenen Schulformen im Vergleich. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.
Soeffner, Hans Georg (1989). Auslegung des Alltags – der Alltag in der Auslegung: zur wissenschaftlichen Konzeption einer sozialswissenschaftlichen Hermeneutik. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Stecher, Ludwig: Allemann-Ghionda, Christina; Helsper, Werner; Klieme Eckhard (2009). Ganztägige Bildung und Betreuung. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, Beiheft 54, 284.