This study employed methodological principles of the course-of-action theory in order to identify the typical organization of teachers’ actions when in conflict with one or more students. Eighteen physical education teachers were filmed during physical education lessons and then participated in self-confronting interviews. Data analysis consisted of comparing each course of action to identify the archetypal structures that characterize conflict management. The results showed (a) conditions conducive to conflict, (b) teacher attempts at resolution occurring under strong time pressure and thus carrying risks of further deteriorating the situation because of precipitous decisions, (c) an authoritative use of the status conferred by the role of teacher, and (d) a systematic exploitation of the conflict to drive home a message.
Eric Flavier and Marc Durand, ESTEREL, IUFM, 2 pl. M. Godechot, BP 4152, 34092 Montpellier, France; Stefano Bertone, DREEPS, IUFM, 0600 Nice, France; Denis Hauw, UFRSTAPS, 34000 Montpellier, France.