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ERIC Number: ED155709
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Language and Secondary Schooling: The Struggle for Meaning.
Collins, James L.; Seidman, Earl
True learning requires that students "make meaning" for themselves, but the patterns of verbal behavior that prevail in secondary classrooms tend to stifle rather than facilitate this process. Excerpts from tape recordings of lessons in three secondary classrooms show that, whereas the teachers display great autonomy and control over what they say, student speech is constantly being channeled and limited by the teachers, and that it is the teachers rather than the students who get practice in making meaning. Although teachers may assume that their own understandings will transfer to students, in fact students may be confused by attempting to understand preformed meanings that are presented to them; they need to make a subject meaningful for themselves by talking it through in much the same way teachers do. One tape excerpt transcript reveals a teacher's attempt to permit students to develop their own meanings, as well as her anxiety about losing control of the lesson. Although it is not easy for teachers to achieve an affective and appropriate balance between personal and social speech in the classroom, it is important that they become more aware of the ways language is used in their classrooms. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on English Education (16th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 16-18, 1978)