• Alif Fakkar posted an update 8 months, 1 week ago

    Discourse Analysis Journal Review #4

    Name: Regulating readers’ bodies: a discourse analysis of teachers’ body talk

    Author: Jessica Nina Lester and Rachel Gabriel

    Source: Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. Oct2017, Vol. 38 Issue 5, p688-700. 13p.

    The paper analyzes the discourse of reading instruction in eight primary/elementary school classrooms in the United States. From it, the authors discussed two patterns from the analysis of their data, including: (1) emphasized versus embedded physical control as essential to being a ‘successful’ reader, and (2) implicit physical control and freedom as essential to literacy learning and to student identities as readers.

    Regarding the first point, a reading classroom is observed with a teacher who demands a certain bodily positions to start studying and would consistently direct students into these bodily positions. In this classroom, the lesson would be keep getting interrupted and will not continue until every student complies with the teacher’s directives about how to sit, where and with what materials. The author notes that according to Planta, Paro, and Hamre (2008), the restriction of student movement is associated with lower social-emotional support for students, which is associated with stronger academic and effective outcomes for students. However, with such tight constructions of what it means to read or to be a reader, students could be more hesitant to engage in reading if given the opportunity.

    Moving to the second point, we move to a different reading classroom, with a more implicit physical control or freedom. Here, deviation from the expected physical behaviors were ignored or handled with humor, and students are able to position themselves and use their materials as they see fit. Such classrooms offer a level of rationale that invites students to co-construct what it means to do reading by being transparent about directions.