Mediation at School
Pointing out, along with others, that the School is today faced with the ‘major challenge of normative pluralism,’ which breaks with the school institution of old based on the authority of the Schoolmaster and the vertical transmission of knowledge, O. Kuty, F. Schoenaers, Ch. Dubois et B. Dethier take a look, in a first exploratory study(1), at a new type of actor in the school environment: the ‘mediator.’ Professionals who, according to the researchers, are symbolic of a ‘new cultural attitude,’ that of mediation as a ‘new mode of regulating social links’ and the cement of ‘living together.’
School mediation, a recent concept
To speak of the emergence, in Belgium, of the notion of school mediation, without tying it explicitly to ‘the weakening of the ‘transcendent’ reference points transmitted by tradition,’ would make little sense. What does that mean, in effect? For the sociologist Olgierd Kuty, a Professor Emeritus at the ULg, the school institution, as was society as a whole up until the turn of the 1980s, was the site of a relative consensus around ‘macro-values’ which were non-negotiable and in a way delivered to citizens in a single block.
(1) KUTY O., SCHOENAERS F., DUBOIS Ch., DETHIER B., La médiation scolaire. Un regard des acteurs sur leurs pratiques, Liège, Presses Universitaires de Liège, coll. Essai, 2012.