Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2014 Christina Keller. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Lisa Smulyan

Second Advisor

Maya Nadkarni


This thesis explores the enactment of discipline at home and school for first grade students attending the self-identified progressive independent school Escuela de Curiosidad in Bosqueverde, Costa Rica. Using data collected through four months offield observations and parent and staff interviews, the author concludes that disciplinary methods have changed over the past thirty years in the community of Bosqueverde, reflecting a change in the social construction of childhood and coinciding with the globalization ofthe children's rights movement. Children are seen increasingly as agents and treated as such. However, even though parents and teachers are progressing towards giving students more freedom and autonomy, they ultimately remain in control ofthe child and his or her body. This tension between adult control and student agency can be seen in many ofthe discourses that teachers and parents use and in many ofthe disciplinary actions they take.