Challenging the dominant culture by developing a creative pedagogy in subject English: Building students' cultural capital and linguistic and cultural resources

    Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


    This research underscores the significance of identity confirmation, engagement and creative pedagogy to the development of students’ literacy. Because students come from a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, each context provides unique challenges in meeting students’ needs. Language development is a socio-cultural process (Bernstein, 1990; Halliday, 1985) and it is therefore necessary to differentiate programs. This research offers insights on how identity texts can be used to support English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) students from low socio-economic backgrounds to develop their linguistic and cultural resources. An identity text can be an oral, written or multimodal text but it will be a text that connects to the students’ community and disrupts a transmission pedagogy that views the student as a blank slate (Freire.1975). The creation of identity texts assumes particular importance for students from disadvantaged social and economic groups whose languages, cultures, and religions have been devalued, often for generations, in the wider society (Cummins & Early, 2011; Cummins, Hu, Markus & Montero 2015). The project, which is the subject of this study (Dutton & Rushton, 2018), is situated in a specific Australian context where teachers are experiencing pressure to eschew creative pedagogy (Berliner, 2011) to ensure success on the NAPLAN literacy test. The research reports ways teachers developed the linguistic resources of their EAL/D learners (Krashen, 1992) by embracing first language use in their English classrooms by using drama pedagogy. The approach supports progression through the mode continuum (Dutton & Rushton, 2018) as well as increased engagement in learning (Ewing & Saunders, 2016; Jefferson & Anderson, 2017). In this ethno-graphic, multi-site case study, teachers at key junctures in their work, gathered artefacts including student reflections. A constructivist interpretive frame was employed and data were analysed and categories identified using an iterative approach of moving back and forth between the data artefacts and relevant literature. Crystallisation formed the basis for methodological rigour and validity (Richardson, 1994) and reflexive consideration of researcher role and perspective was acknowledged. Teachers reported students’ wellbeing, including learning, emotional, social and cultural needs, were addressed when the pedagogical approach to literacy development honoured students’ cultural heritage. The research reports a project that helps teachers to better understand the nuances of student background and build cultural capital. The creative pedagogy helps teachers develop students’ linguistic and cultural resources, confirm students’ identities and empower students to tell their own stories
    Period5 Dec 2018
    (AARE) CONFERENCE 2018: AARE Conference Sydney
    Event typeConference
    LocationSydney, AustraliaShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionNational