THE IMAGE OF THE SCHOOL AND THE TEACHER IN THE PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL DISCOURSE

Romas Prakapas, Dalia Prakapienė

Abstract


Education is one of the topics widely discussed in the society as different issues are addressed by different groups, in different contexts. Most often such discussions are initiated by a variety of educational issues in the public sphere, some of which become known to the public only through the media, which is one of the most important contributors to the dominant attitude in the society, or social networks. Research shows that both of them have become an integral part of life and sometimes are trusted more than other sources.
The article deals with the following issues: what is public educational discourse and what is the image of the school and the teacher in today’s public educational discourse? Taking into account these problematic questions, the subject of the research was the image of the school and the teacher created in the public discourse. The aim of the research is to present the image of the school and the teacher created in the public educational discourse. The article presents the research carried out following the methodological provisions of qualitative research. Method of discourse analysis was used to collect and analyse research data. Only the news portals that received the largest number of readers during the research that was conducted between January and February of 2020 were selected for the analysis, using a targeted sampling approach. The fact that only publicly presented presentations of individual education issues reflecting the context of Lithuanian education were selected limited the research as well as the pandemic that started in 2020 that overshadowed the ongoing debates in the public sphere with discussions focused exclusively on certain areas of social life related to the pandemic.
Definite conclusions were drawn following the research: a) public education discourse is a holistic situation modelled on the basis of scientific knowledge and educational experience of human and societal development powers, contextually and consistently presented and discussed in the public sphere; in addition, it is shaped by narratives and their interpretations that dominate the said sphere (on mass media and social networks); b) positive attitudes towards education are formed by public presentations of individual phenomena and pedagogical successes inspired by educators while negative ones are shaped by attempts to search and present only sensational, resonant events in education to increase readability and comment rates for the mass media. Thus, one-sided expert comments and evaluations, criticism without much analysis and suggestions contribute little to the development of the positive attitude. One of the ways to develop objective public education discourse is the proper use of social networks.

Keywords


school; teacher; image; education; discourse analysis; mass media.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SD-20-18-1-04

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789