Researching the teaching of subject English: Socio-cultural theories and methods
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I come to this article as an experienced primary and middle years teacher and midcareer university-based academic with a vested interest in researching the message systems of the disciplinary field of subject English. My sociocultural perspective challenges those who view English teaching predominantly as a cognitive act of learning to read or write, or shy away from introducing content that feels raw or political. In the eloquent words of Shiqing (2014), I ‘reject the idealised view of truth inherited from the ancients and replace it with a dynamic, changing trust bounded by time, space and perspective’ (p. 70). Empirically, in my work as a primary and middle years English teacher, I am influenced by two major theories associated with language as a socio-cultural resource: Multiliteracies Pedagogies (New London Group, 2000) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). Theoretically, in my work as a researcher, I draw on sociological understandings of the three message systems of education, that is, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment (Bernstein, 2000), to describe the effects of adopting these stringent socio-cultural approaches. In that article which follows, I introduce and discuss the influences of multiliteracies pedagogies, systemic functional linguistics and sociological theories in turn.
English in Australia
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Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified