The art and science of "recognition of difference" in junior secondary science classrooms

Hanrahan, Mary U. (2005) The art and science of "recognition of difference" in junior secondary science classrooms. In Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice, 30 May – 1 June, 2005, Singapore. (Unpublished)


"Recognition and valuing of difference" (Education Queensland, 2001) and "inclusivity" (State of NSW, 2003) are recognised as significant dimensions of quality teaching and learning. Yet they can be too easily forgotten in the push for "intellectual quality". My research suggests that this is counterproductive since the two dimensions are integrally related, especially for students from non-advantaged backgrounds. In some subjects, the stylistic norms of the culture (cf. Lemke 1990) result in many students feeling excluded from legitimate belonging and hence full access. This can result in lowered intellectual engagement and poor retention rates in the subject, with junior secondary science being a case in point in many Western countries including Australia (cf. Goodrum, Hackling & Rennie 2001). However, there is evidence that some teachers do manage to engage most of their middle years' students in science, which begs the question, "How do they do it?" This has been the topic of my most recent research project. In this paper I will attempt to demonstrate my findings that such teachers use language in subtle ways that open science up to new audiences. They creatively hybridise the traditional genres, discourses and styles of school science in ways which recognise, value and/or accept - or at least allow for - difference, and which invite and reward active participation by all students. Using the tools of critical discourse analysis (CDA, Fairclough 2003) I will illustrate my points about access-enhancing teacher discourse practices with excerpts from the lessons of two successful science teachers.

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ID Code: 1522
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: science education, critical discourse analysis, teacher discourse practices, science teaching, equity, difference
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Multicultural Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies (200209)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 08 Jun 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:25

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