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Title: Storytelling in the secondary English classroom : theoretical and empirical perspectives relevant to the development of literacy
Author: Dunning, Jean Ferguson
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 2673
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis argues that oral storytelling by pupils in the secondary English classroom has a potential neglected by teachers and the education system in Britain. Part One considers the history of traditions of storytelling from pre-literate times, through the development of communication technologies, the increase in the numbers of readers in the population and the development of schooled literacy, foregrounding oral continuities. It traces the development of the traditional concept of literacy as a neutral technology of the intellect, arguing against the notion of an oral-literate divide. It supports a revised conceptualisation of oral-literate relations which accepts that, in any society, there are multiple literacies. From a developmental perspective, it insists on the centrality of oral narrative discourse to the individual's thinking and sense of social identity. Finally, it reviews narratological theories and shows that the application of some of them to the transcripts of oral stories can reveal the literary competences of tellers. Part Two applies theory drawn from authorities consulted in Part One to data collected in English lessons where 12/13 year old pupils performed oral stories for an audience of their peers (public performances) or alone with a tape-recorder (private performances). The multiple contexts of the empirical study and the collection of data are described; ethnographic and discourse analyses of the public performances are presented through a paradigmatic instance. The findings of the textual analyses of ten exemplars are scrutinised and three related but separate significances identified in them, all signs of pupils' communicative and narrative competence. The private performances are analysed separately, using categories drawn from literary theory; comparative analyses reveal literary competences in experienced and inexperienced readers alike and enable an outline developmental perspective on literary competences to be constructed. On the basis of the findings of this work, the educational validity of oral storytelling in the secondary English classroom is asserted as a form of inclusive social justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available