Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/33178
Title: The brightest and the best? Reproducing elites in a Maltese school
Other Titles: Inside/outside schools : towards a critical sociology of education in Malta
Authors: Mifsud, Immanuel
Keywords: Elite (Social sciences) -- Education -- Malta
Education and state -- Malta
Educational sociology -- Malta
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd.
Citation: Mifsud, I. (1997). The brightest and the best? Reproducing elites in a Maltese school. In R. G. Sultana (Eds.), Inside/outside schools : towards a critical sociology of education in Malta (pp. 335-352). San Gwann: Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd.
Abstract: Sociological studies of education carried out by Apple (1979, 1982), Giroux (1983) and McLaren (1986, 1989) among others have pointed out that schooling is a political process which is far from being neutral, and that everyday experiences at school are pregnant with hidden messages. Schools have in fact come to be seen as social sites with a dual curriculum - one overt and formal, the other hidden. The informal, or hidden curriculum, is constituted by norms and values which are unstated but which successfully transmit world views to students through the kinds of relationships developed in classrooms and also through other activities which make up everyday routine. This chapter sets out to report data collected through observation of one of Malta's elite Church schools, here referred to as 'St David's College'. It will be argued that the symbolic and cultural material presented in this school positions participants in a powerful social world, and is a crucial, though often unexamined, factor in the transmission of values and meanings. The following sections focus on only a few features of the socialisation processes taking place in the school in question. These are: (a) the social construction of distinction through hierarchical relationships; (b) the formation of a specific and distinctive school identity through sports events and rituals; (c) the politicisation of students through moral/religious messages. The chapter concludes with a study of students' resistance to this socialisation process, in order to argue that schools do not merely do things to people, but that students are active beings, capable of restructuring what is presented to them in order to express their needs and concerns. Further insights into these four processes can be gleaned from a longer account of the present study in Mifsud (1991).
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar//handle/123456789/33178
ISBN: 9990900833
Appears in Collections:Inside/Outside Schools : towards a critical sociology of education in Malta

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