EjSBS - The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

Online ISSN: 2301-2218
European Publisher

Transformations In Teachers’ Discourse About Their Students During A School-Led Pedagogic Intervention


Many pedagogic interventions aim to counteract the problem of students’ disengagement in learning but often fail to take into account the perceptions and practices of educational practitioners. In this article we analyse teachers’ collaborative talk as an important part of developing school practices. We examine how teachers construct students’ engagement as a goal of their work and how they, in the course of a research-based, school-led pedagogic intervention, begin to re-define this problem and their perceptions of their students. Using a discourse analytic framework, we analyse nine video-recorded group discussions with 30 teachers in a socially disadvantaged urban secondary school participating in a 2-year intervention study. The analysis focuses on teachers’ talk of their students as the teachers constructed obstacles, preconditions and possibilities for the development of their work. We categorize the teachers talk about their students’ engagement as emphasising (1) Students as autonomous choice-makers; (2) Students as active doers and participants in school; and (3) Students as whole, embodied beings. During the intervention, teachers’ talk shifted not only from negative to more positive talk of their students but also to seeing their students as more complex and embodied beings whose problems in school are not inevitable obstacles for classroom work but as something that the teachers can start to do something at. In this paper we call this change in teachers’ talk as “envisioned ideology”. In pedagogic interventions there need to be what we call “latent supporting factors” that can enable the development of this kind of “envisioned ideology”.

Keywords: Student engagementteacher talkpedagogic interventionclassroom learningdiscourse analysis

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Published online: 01.05.2015
Pages: 188-204
Publisher: Future Academy
In: Volume 13, Issue 2
DOI: 10.15405/ejsbs.163
Online ISSN: 2301-2218
Article Type: Original Research
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