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Department of Sociology Presents

Sociology Workshop: Amy August (TUESDAY, 4:00-5:00PM)

11/13/18, 4:00 PM

About this event

Join us on Tuesday, November 13th for our Sociology Workshop Series featuring Amy August (PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology).

Title: "Mrs. Marshall's Classroom Management: How Preschool Teachers Regulate the Economy of Attention."

How do teachers manage student attention in the classroom and what effects does this management have on opportunities to learn? Scholars agree that both paying and receiving attention are important for student learning, but how teachers provide opportunities for them to do both while maintaining an orderly classroom has not been investigated. Using ethnography, I explore the strategies used by an experienced preschool teacher to manage student attention. To understand the effectiveness of these strategies, I introduce a theoretical framework which I call the economy of attention, modeled after economic theories of cultural exchange (like Pugh’s economy of dignity). I show that, to manage the economy of attention, the teacher creates a system governing acceptable uses for student attention and reinforces children’s compliance with this system by providing or denying them her own attention. She utilizes the orderliness thus created to free her own attention for systematic provision to individuals and groups of students for enrichment and remediation. I argue that paying more attention to some students than others is at times necessary in the classroom context to increase learning opportunities for all students. 

Group discussion to follow.

For our complete fall schedule, visit our website.

Questions? Please contact Elizabeth Cronin.
Event Location
  • 1114/1183 Social Sciences Building
  • 267 19th Ave So
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA - United States