ERIC Number: ED364902
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Construction and Reconstruction of Gender in Classroom Discourse: Disciplining the Student Body.
A study analyzed the multiple purposes of songs in which children in early childhood classrooms sing and move their bodies to the lyrics, the discourses the songs mobilize, and the gendered positions the songs accomplish. Subjects, 28 students entering their first year in a suburban primary school in a large regional center in southern Victoria, Australia, were observed during their classroom and playground experience as part of a larger study. Close analysis of teacher talk, games, and song that took place during one morning was performed. Results indicated: (1) the purpose of the songs was "collective regulation," a gathering of attention, and an invitation to discontinue private conversation; (2) the songs regulated by targeting the children's bodies; (3) the songs were most often preceded and followed by teacher talk which regulated the body and provided guidelines to students on how to produce the right body; (4) bodily practices such as sitting became tied to pupil selection in gendered ways; (5) the children's game "Hands on Heads" was also transformed into a technology of regulation; and (6) while the teacher's discourse was remarkably free of gender positioning, she often acted unwittingly and against her own stated intentions. Findings suggest that the discourses of power which perpetuate gendered practice are not just to be found in language exchanges, but in practices enacted on and through bodies. (Four tables of data are included; 26 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (Victoria)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (83rd, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17-22, 1993).