Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Children's stories and negotiated identities : Bakhtin and complexity in upper primary classrooms in Jamaica and Scotland
Author: Cross, Beth
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Taking as a starting point the need to excavate assumptions of northern educational practice as normative or standard setting, this research project examines the interface between home and school cultures and the consequences for children’s learning strategies in their upper primary years at Scottish and Jamaican schools. Particular attention is paid to how metaphors and narratives are encoded differently in school culture than in children’s popular culture. Several different studies show that learners make crucial conceptual decisions about their identities and strategies through these years of development. Both strategies and identities are embedded within the on-going narratives that learners receive, retell, and revise. These stories interplay with the meta-narratives of the culture settings learners inhabit. These meta-narratives include those of child development, economic development and educational policy; they contrast, sometimes sharply, with powerful forms of expression and narratives within popular culture. Drawing on insights from educational ethnography and socio-linguistics and taking into account the differing meanings that post-industrial or post-development might have in each context, the study is a dialogue with children and teachers about how they represent and make sense of school in the context of the complex and quickly changing popular culture that surrounds them. The study begins with a consideration of how Bakhtin’s unique perspective on language and discourse can be applied to cross cultural educational research, particularly what insights his approach contributes to grappling with the problem of the ethnocentricity of the hermeneutic circle. In the process the differing ways Bakhtin has been taken up by educational and discourse researchers such as Wertsch, Hall, and Maybin are examined. The resulting approach is then applied to two classrooms in each country setting. The picture that emerges is one in which the dominant metaphors of education and the attendant constructs of childhood clash against children’s lived experience and increasing engagement with popular and high tech culture. Children’s ability to “sample” stories’ multiple possibilities and to borrow infectiously from each other defies the linear construct of story or narrative as taught in the syllabus, yet, coincides with Bakhtin’s understanding of language and communication as fundamentally dialogic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available