The complex interplay between school and home discourses and identities in a first-grade structured English immersion classroom
This dissertation uses poststructural theory and critical discourse analysis to examine school and home discourses and subjectivities for four first-grade, bilingual Latino students. The rationale for the comparative analysis is to reveal sociocultural and sociopolitical influences with respect to classroom literacy learning for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Parent visits to the classroom provided an opportunity for the home subjectivities to be introduced into the classroom culture. When school and home discourses and subjectivities are compared and contrasted, a view of the student as possessing multiple and shifting subject positions comes into focus. Critical discourse analysis was used to reveal the discourses and subjectivities taken up by the students, their parents, and the classroom teacher, as well as revealing the tensions that surfaced as the school and home discourses and subjectivities either collided or colluded.
The study's major findings include a conflict between the two school discourses of school reform and progressive literacy pedagogy and the construction of conflicting subject positions for the students and the teacher. During student-teacher interactions, the school reform discourse predominated, fostering the construction of negative and limiting subject positions for the students and the internalization by the students of the beliefs and subjectivities associated with the school reform discourse. During the classroom literacy event of biographical storytelling, the discourse of progressive literacy pedagogy predominated, resulting in a broader range of subject positions for the teacher, the students, and their families.
This study shows that a poststructural framework and critical discourse analysis are useful in comparatively analyzing school and home subjectivities and discourses. In particular, critical discourse analysis shows the difficulty of enacting the progressive literacy pedagogy discourse in the context of pressures from the school reform discourse. Through the juxtaposition of school and home discourses and subject positions insights into the possibilities for curricular innovations arise; thus the value in such a comparative analysis for teacher education and classroom practice includes the need to further bring the students' culture and language into the classroom and the need for more classroom opportunities to enact the progressive literacy pedagogy discourse through such events as family visits and family stories. The newfound and broadened curricular space can lead to the taking up of new subject positions by students, their parents, and the classroom teacher.
0282: Multicultural education
0279: Language arts