Engaging with difference in science classrooms: Using CDA to identify interpersonal aspects of inclusive pedagogy
Hanrahan, Mary U. (2005) Engaging with difference in science classrooms: Using CDA to identify interpersonal aspects of inclusive pedagogy. Melbourne Studies in Education, 46(2), pp. 107-127.
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) can be a powerful tool for focusing on aspects of social practice which might otherwise go unremarked but which may have a significant impact on who has access to a specific area of learning. The quality of interpersonal relationships has long been acknowledged as a crucial aspect of success in teaching, including teaching in ‘content’ area subjects such as science. However, the development of excellence in this aspect of science pedagogy is given scant attention, with disciplinary content being the main focus of most curriculum reforms designed to make science more accessible for all. This may be due in part to a paucity of research into ways of creating a positive interpersonal environment in science which in turn may be due to an ignorance of the best tools available for this purpose. My research attempts to redress this balance somewhat by providing critical analyses, using CDA, of the pedagogical discourse practices of teachers who are successful in engaging a wide range of students in school science. In this article I will focus on how difference and intertextuality have been handled in a short sample of text taken from a ‘learning support’ Year 9-10 science class.
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