The spatialized practices of teaching writing in Australian elementary schools: diverse students shaping discoursal selves

Ryan, Mary and Barton, Georgina (2014) The spatialized practices of teaching writing in Australian elementary schools: diverse students shaping discoursal selves. Research in the Teaching of English, 48 (3). pp. 303-329. ISSN 0034-527X

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This paper discusses the teaching of writing within the competing and often contradictory spaces
of high-stakes testing and the practices and priorities around writing pedagogy in diverse school
communities. It uses sociospatial theory to examine the 'real-and-imagined' spaces (Soja, 1996)
that influence and are influenced by teachers’ pedagogical priorities for writing in two linguistically
diverse elementary school case studies. Methods of critical discourse analysis are used to examine
rich data sets to make visible the discourses and power relations at play in the case schools. Findings
show that when teachers’ practices focus on the teaching of structure and skills alongside
identity building and voice, students with diverse linguistic backgrounds can produce dramatic,
authoritative, and resonant texts. The paper argues that “thirdspaces” (Soja, 1996)can be forged
that both attend to accountability requirements and also give the necessary attention to more
complex aspects of writing necessary for students from diverse and multilingual backgrounds to
invest in writing as a creative and critical form of communication for participation in society
and the knowledge economy.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2017 05:39
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2017 06:24
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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