Becoming a writer in the foundation year: Curriculum and pedagogical reform and children’s writing

Exley, Beryl, Woods, Annette, & Doyle, Katherine (2014) Becoming a writer in the foundation year: Curriculum and pedagogical reform and children’s writing. In AARE National Conference 2014, 30 November - 4 December 2014, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.

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As researchers interested in the pursuit of high quality/high equity literacy outcomes, we examine the impact of curriculum and pedagogical reforms on the writing outcomes of children in the first year of school. We draw on case-study data collected in Preparatory classrooms in a school community marked by disadvantage. The data corpus was collected as part of a four-year school reform project that saw the partnership of researchers, the Teachers’ Union and the leaders, teachers, students and their families and communities of one primary school. The project involved a collaborative investigation of what reform for improved outcomes of all students might entail. As part of that larger study, writing samples were collected from all students in the school across 2009 to 2012. Here, we specifically focus on the writing samples collected from those students in their first year of school. This data set comprises writing samples for 310 students (27 in 2009, 84 in 2010, 78 in 2011, & 76 in 2012). By considering this analysis in the context of data collected about the reform process in these classrooms, we are able to consider the implications of a focus on literacy pedagogy and high expectations on the development of students’ writing in this important learning phase.

To begin the analysis all samples were coded across a 7-point scale on 7 domains including spelling, sentence structure and vocabulary. The analysis enables us to think about shifts across time in the products of pedagogical approaches. A qualitative analysis of selected samples that unpacks the textual and the visual (see Leeuwen and Jewitt, 2001) elements of the samples provides a deeper understanding of the literate competencies of these early years students.

Finally, by calling the work of Bernstein (2000), we analyse the pedagogical work of this group of teachers and students. Bernstein discusses the notion of performance and competence models of pedagogy. These models differ on the basis of: categories of discourse, space and time; orientation to evaluation; pedagogic control; pedagogic text; pedagogic autonomy; and pedagogic economy. We use this analytic model to discuss shifts in the pedagogy in these early years classrooms across the reform process and consider what it means for students’ literacy outcomes when teachers weave across performance and competence modes.

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ID Code: 98910
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: writing, text, reform, prep, foundation, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2016 22:38
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2016 15:14

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