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Teachers and academics co-constructing the category of expert through meeting talk

By Graeme W. Hall and Susan J. Danby


It is not uncommon for education university academics and schoolteachers to create opportunities to collaborate in projects of various kinds - particularly professional development and research activities. While a number of studies have highlighted the advantages of school-university partnerships, there has been little work investigating how these partnerships actually work. This study shows how one such partnership was managed interactionally, focusing on how the participants undertook the delicate and complex work of partnership building. Specifically, the study investigated how a group of teachers and academics developed a project to improve Mathematics teaching in the school. The activity was collaborative, occurring in the context of on-going Professional Development. This paper focuses on one episode of meeting talk to show how the participants constructed the business of doing partnerships. In so doing, they constructed categories of ‘expert’ in their meeting talk. The meeting talk was audio-taped and analysed using membership categorization and conversation analysis. Of particular interest was the emergence of expertise as a co-constructed category accomplished by participants. Teachers and academics alike constructed themselves as experts. This paper shows that the practical tasks of the meeting were concerned with connecting expert status to the business of partnerships. Such orientations shape what can be said in meeting talk, who gets to speak, and the types of relationships that can be constructed

Topics: 160809 Sociology of Education, 200403 Discourse and Pragmatics, school, university partnerships, social order, professional teacher development, principal
Publisher: Australian Association for Research in Education
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:1258

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