ERIC Number: ED335677
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
Remediation as Social Construct: Perspectives from an Analysis of Classroom Discourse. Technical Report No. 44.
Hull, Glynda; And Others
This paper examines remediation as the product of perceptions and beliefs about literacy and learning. It illustrates some ways teachers inadvertently participate in constructing inaccurate and limiting notions of learners as being cognitively defective and in need of "remedy," and thus limit classroom learning. It combines an empirical, fine-grained analysis of classroom discourse with broader historical and cultural analyses. The paper considers ways to examine these limiting basic assumptions, building, from a different ground, notions about students' abilities and the nature of literacy learning. The paper's first section analyzes closely a 50-minute classroom lesson on writing conducted in a remedial classroom at an urban college led by a highly rated teacher committed to her teaching. This section examines the class conversation in terms of its interactional patterns and the kinds of classroom discourse such patterns allow, and looks closely at one student, detailing the interactional processes that contribute to her being defined as remedial. The paper's second section examines the cultural context of school failure, noting the long history in American education of perceiving and treating low-achieving children as if they were lesser in character and fundamental ability. The paper's third section discusses four suggested means (remembering teacher development, attending to classroom discourse, making macro-micro connections, and rethinking the language of cultural difference) for teachers and researchers to examine their assumptions about remediation and remedial students. (Four figures containing transcripts of classroom discussions are included: there are 60 references and a transcription key. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.