This is what it is not


I like the idea of a negative explanation that perhaps define something by what it is not
I am now mid-way through a small scale unfunded research project about how professional teachers registered on a University Diploma course conceptualise teaching.

I am conscious of entering what was a crowded terrain but as the sector (post-16) enters a cries of austerity – I am perhaps asking an apt question at a very distinct moment One where fear of not having any work means that participants are even less likely to challenge orthodoxy, or required policy constraints. Where they are unable to engage with training despite recognising it as vital to their long-term employment possibilities.

This is the backdrop and as part of the situation (Clarke, 2005) it has its own impact on what I seek to explore.
This research explores language and literacy teachers’ conceptualisation of the subject they teach.
It is not:
# an analysis of pedagogical content knowledge to assess professional competence in the required subject matter

# an attempt to see if they have the right or the wrong ideas about language and literacy

# a project that aims at improving my practice in any but an incidental, indirect way

# about professional competence or capability

# about whether language and literacy are best viewed as skills or social practices – though a view on this informs the study

# a project that connects conceptualisation of subject to approach to teaching, though it recognises that such a connection exists and matters
It is:

An exploration into the different ways teachers talk and write about language and literacy which analyses how they negotiate the contradictions between literacy as policy text and literacy as lived experience

CLARKE, A. 2005. Situational analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn, Sage Publications, Inc.
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