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Literacy pedagogies that may ‘make a difference’

By Parlo Singh, Karen T. Dooley and Peter Freebody


In this paper we analyse literacy pedagogies in a state-designated disadvantaged secondary school. The specific purpose of the analysis is to identify modes of pedagogy that may make a difference in the overall literacy outcomes of students attending these schools in general, and targeted ‘at risk’ groups including Samoan students. Interview data collected from Samoan paraprofessionals working in low socio-economic schools, in addition to the research literature on Pacific Islander students, are used to identify salient features of effective pedagogies. This information is used to orient the analysis of classroom data collected from one case study secondary school. The analytic focus is on the accomplishment of disruptive student behaviour within the enactment of everyday classroom interaction; specifically, the transition between whole class spoken preparatory discourse and individual seatwork. The analytic framework consists of concepts from Basil Bernstein’s sociological theory of pedagogy that give purchase on the explicitness of teacher control of ‘the what’ of instruction (content or subject matter) and ‘the how’ (interactive forms of teacher-student relations). The general finding of the study is that less explicit teacher control of the selection and organization of knowledge are associated with the disruptive student behaviours identified as sources of disadvantage by the Samoan paraprofessionals. In addition, some general features of literacy pedagogies that may ‘make a difference’ in educational outcomes for students enrolled in the designated disadvantaged secondary school are identified

Topics: 130000 EDUCATION, literacy, educational disadvantage, explicit pedagogy, disruptive classroom behaviours
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13598660120032978
OAI identifier:

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