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LRDG seminar -- Awena Carter - Making invisible processes visible: the dynamic between taking an ethnographic stance as teacher and taking an ethnographic stance as a researcher.

Date: 3 June 2008 Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm

Awena Carter -- Making invisible processes visible: the dynamic between taking an ethnographic stance as teacher and taking an ethnographic stance as a researcher. Many approaches to teaching dyslexic children take the difficulties experienced by the dyslexic child as their starting point. In this paper I describe research into my own practice in teaching dyslexic children, in which my pedagogy was based on the successful ways in which non-dyslexic children develop literacy. I took an ethnographic stance, in researching my practice, which was informed and enabled by the ethnographic stance I had first taken as a teacher. In discussing the dynamic between my research and my practice I draw on Barton and Hamilton's (1998:57f) view that there are four aspects to an ethnographic approach: it 'studies real-world settings' is 'holistic, aiming at the whole phenomena' is 'multi method, drawing on a variety of research techniques''is interpretive [aiming] to present the participants' perspectives'. Using this lens I view the real-world setting of my practice , looking holistically at one child I taught: at the way his literacy practices developed as he began to trust me; at his relationships in a whole-school setting and in relation to my other pupils and to his family. The research, in synthesising participant observation with textual and document analysis, informed by my headnotes, was multi-method and the participant's perspectives are seen in my records and in the texts the child wrote. Interpreting these texts uncovers an understanding of how the child developed literacy and I theorise that, through working in the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1987), my pupil was able to construct new identities for himself and to view himself as a writer. Dr Awena Carter, Lancaster UniversityReferences:Barton, D. and Hamilton, M. 1998. Local Literacies Reading and Writing in one Community. London: Routledge.Vygotsky, L. 1987. 'The Development of Scientific Concepts in Thinking and Speech', first published in 1934. In Rieffer, R.W, and Carton A.S. (eds.). The Collected Works of Lev Vygotsky, Volume 1, Problems of General Psychology, Translated by Norris Minick. New York: Plenum Press.

Event website: http://www.literacy.lancs.ac.uk

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Who can attend: Anyone

 

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Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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