Storying literacy pedagogies

Rogers, Rebecca. 2004. Storied selves: A Critical Discourse Analysis of adult learners’ literate lives. Selber erzählt: Eine kritische Diskursanalyse über das Lese- und Schreiberleben von lernenden Erwachsenen. 39 (3):272-305.

When I was in eighth grade the teacher said I was slow in reading…she just said, “Well, your reading as got to be upgraded. you know, like you’re kind of slow in reading.”I knew I was but most of the time I was so bored with school and so I didn’t care if I read good or not…. Even now, I read too fast, often missing the decimal point, I mean, the punctuation, often missing words that I read. In order for me to become a good reader, I have to sit down, and I have to read over what I’m reading a couple of times, and then read at a slower pace. I’m kind of short when it comes to punctuation. I don’t know punctuation too good. (Jerome interviewed discussing  past and present experiences with school)
[About a letter Jerome wrote to a judge] But then they gave me a court date and I wrote this letter to defend yourself. I , Reverend  Jerome, being of sound mind and body tell this story on paper…. I gave it to the lawyers and they dropped my case. And I often have to wind up writing the hospital letters….I think the hospitals should pay part of the person’s bill, be responsible for the first part of the person’s b ill, just like I pay, uh, money to have insurance to pay for my part. I think the hospital should pay a part, too…. I write to the accounting department to let them know that they are responsible for some of that bill, too. (Jerome interviewed discussing family and community literacy practices)
Rogers’ (2004) research suggests that adult literacy learners ‘story’ their literate selves differently depending upon which domain they are operating within.  
She offers a richly textured discourse analysis of extended interviews with various students who talk about learning to read and school, at adult education college and within a family domain. It is interesting that she uses these slightly different spatial and temporal frames to analyse their literate lives and this connects to my desire to view literacy as a pedagogic subject and it constructions by teachers as a) classroom practice b) academic subject and c) personal experience – these categories can be more clearly defined.  I also need to be sure that it is literacy as a pedagogic subject as oppose to literacy that I am seeking to explore.
It is to explore how teachers construct their ideas about literacy / language within these different contexts. I am here suggesting that it can be entirely possible to acknowledge that literacy is purposeful in everyday lives, in their own lives, but in the lives of their learners in class – their purposefulness is it of any great significance. In other words, I am here echoing the hint in interview 2 that ‘literacy as social practice’; is a framing that has relevance for literacy outside of college but less relevance for literacy within the college setting. The language and literacy that we learn / teach is ontologically different to the literacy / language that we use on other settings. One is for the purpose of passing an exam – the other is for a range of other purpose that need not connect – or connect on theoretically to what is taught.
The reminder of
·         informational learning: deep  & pervasive shifts in perspective & understanding                   
       
·         transformational learning: acquisition in more skills and knowledge
Literacy, literate selves and literacy learning each constructed differently within and across the domains.    p15

Very helpful analysis of methodology deployed.

Genre:                   
the sort of language (& other semiosis) associated with a particular activity

Discourse:             
ways of representing – systematic clusters of themes, statements, ideas and ideologies

Style:                                      
ways of being – interpersonal choices active / passive voice; modality – affinity, mood – 
questions statement demands, transivity & pronoun use
An analysis of the role of the researcher is vital for this work. Thoroughly entwined. 
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