LAUNCH-ing an Organic Pedagogy to Stimulate Text Production Among Learners in the Early Years

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Exley, Beryl E.

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Neumann, Michelle M.

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Text production is rapidly evolving because of digital communication technologies and multimodal forms of text. Yet within the current Australian Early Years of schooling context, educators are observing Governments publicly fixating on high-stakes tests to show national writing achievements. Early years educators are feeling pressured to teach and tick off predetermined literacy knowledges and skills, which is predominately via paper-based means. The epistemological assumption is that learners’ knowledge of how to produce text develops through a standardised paper-based ideology. Text production risks losing its focus on multimodality unless educators can carefully craft pedagogies to thwart a standardised conception of what it means for learners to produce text. The research study utilised design-based research (DBR) in an exploratory case study of an Early Years classroom to explore the potentials of a new organic literacy pedagogical approach named LAUNCH on fourteen learners between five and six yearsold as text producers. The study took place in an Australian Brisbane-based Preparatory classroom, over a four-week timeframe, in Term 2 of the 2017 school year. Qualitative data of video and audio recordings, cogenerative dialogues, and multimodal artefacts captured shifting knowledge structures, relationships, and pedagogical choices relating to learners’ text production. Basil Bernstein’s (1996, 2000) sociology of curriculum, pedagogy, and evaluation acted as the research study’s theoretical foundation. Analytic tools of classification and framing were utilised to explore and understand the theoretical and practical operationalisation of Bernstein’s message systems of curriculum, pedagogy, and evaluation during LAUNCH. Analytic work revealed the manner in which curriculum decisions, educator/learner hierarchical relations, and crafted pedagogic practices infused learners’ identities as text producers. Findings suggest that crossing the pedagogic midline, a new theoretical term, described learners’ production of texts in different forms, for different purposes, and communicated in different ways. Such pedagogic movement provided opportunities for learners to produce oral, print, visual, and digital texts, and disrupt standardised paper-based conceptions of text production in the Early Years of formal schooling.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School Educ & Professional St

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organic literacy pedagogy


Early Years

design-based research

cogenerative dialogue

crossing the pedagogic midline

visible pedagogies

competence model of pedagogic practice

performance model of pedagogic practice

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