learning to read

·         Literacies: this strand of reading explore varying conceptions of literacy and the various ways these dis/connect to practice. The area is vast – there are several different schemata as well as several contrasting and competing distinct constructions. The most significant of these social practices and skills is frequently written about but less often researched. I am here interested in developing visual and metaphorical representations of literacy and language. Kell – the shell & Wilson – 3rd space. It’s important here be clear about the distinction between language and literacy.

·         Pedagogic implications: my focus is less on exploring the literacies and their pedagogic implications as such. I am more concerned with exploring how trainee teachers construct their ideas about literacy. This is part has include a view of how they construct their own professional and academic identities. I partly want to know what their ideas are, how they manage (identify) the tensions, and how these tensions shape what they do.

·         Research methodology: this is a broad strand that covers situational analysis, grounded theory, qualitative enquiry and complexity theory. Non-representational theory, actor-network-theory are part of the nexus – but what is important here is identifying strands of thought that are helpful, stimulating and help me sift through the messiness of real world research – when the main struggle is time and energy. The advantage of the methodologies I explore is that they enable to recognise myself as deeply implicated within the subject  study.

·         Quality and teacher education: I continue to frame the dilemmas that trainees have to resolve as one of different professional frames between what policy requires ‘ticking the box’ and between meeting the aspirations of their learners. In part the focus on study is on how they connect theory and practice but primarily its based on what sense they make of the terrain.

·         Policy under the coalition: I am conscious of a shifting climate that has become something of a policy vacuum and the need to re-engage with this. The commentary from RaPAL is a good starting point here – for pointers for reading as is what Hodgson and Spours are now writing.  Literacy and language in a cold, hostile climate. Fragmentation. No analysis or skills agenda.


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