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Title: School literacies : reading and writing practices in and outside classrooms in Singapore
Author: Chong , Sau kew
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This research aims to broaden the conceptualisation of literacy in educational settings by investigating the meanings of people's ways of using reading and writing in two primary schools in Singapore. It explores how members of the schools, specifically teachers, draw on literacy as a social practice to help pupils use their linguistic and cultural resources to interact with the range of literacies in and outside classrooms on their school premises. The study employs a qualitative research design using a case study approach and an "ethnographic perspective" (Green & B1oome. 1997, p. 183) to research. Research instruments such as interviews, observations (lesson, classroom and school), surveys and pupils' written work have been tapped into to uncover the uses of literacy in the schools. Informed by the theoretical framework of New Literacy Studies and the literature on school culture and classroom discourse, the findings in this study reveal that literacies in the two schools are diverse and are associated with socialising pupils into the norms, values and traits that identify them as pupils of their school, as citizens of Singapore and as individuals and responsible people. Through the use of literacy events as interrelated and nested, and texts as implicit in nature, this study also demonstrates how the process of socialising pupils into acquiring particular practices and discourses is entwined with power, culture and identity, shaping the ways pupils negotiate meaning through reading and writing. Based on this empirical study, I conclude that literacy in schools can best be construed as 'school literacies' which are multiple, "situated" (Gee, 2000, p. 189) and multi faceted, involving a set of social relationships rather than as skills and competencies. I argue that it is through the interplay of power, culture and identity that specific uses of literacy in schools become important, meaningful and relevant to pupils.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available