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versão impressa ISSN 0102-4698


ROCKWELL, Elsie. Resistance in the classroom: between failure and indignation. Educ. Rev. [online]. 2006, n.44, pp.13-39. ISSN 0102-4698.

In this paper, I approach a conceptual dilemma involved in understanding student resistance in classrooms. I summarize some of the classic positions on resistance (WILLIS, GIROUX), and recall the distinction between behaviors that contribute to “school failure” and those that express “moral indignation”. I discuss classroom studies that attempt to explain moments of discontinuity in the flow of verbal interaction as evidence of student resistance. I then turn to the implications of the theories of Basil Bernstein and Jürgen Habermas to explain these processes. I suggest that not all expressions of resistance in the classroom should be seen as signs of incompetence, cultural difference, or selfcondemning behavior. Drawing on Habermas’ theory of communication, it is possible to understand many student’s responses as a legitimate, albeit indirect, invocation of the validity claims of truth, correctness and sincerity.

Palavras-chave : Resistance; Classroom Interaction; Bernstein; Habermas; Critical Theory; Sociolinguistics.

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