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

Mary Ryan, Georgina Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-329
Number of pages27
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Volume48
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The spatialized practices of teaching writing in Australian elementary schools: diverse students shaping discoursal selves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this