ERIC Number: ED404670
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Evaluative Language in Junior High School: Discourse Meta-Maps.
Lapadat, Judith C.
Schools are places where teachers evaluate students and where teachers alike are immersed in an ongoing evaluative discourse. Obligatory participants in this discourse throughout the length of their schooling, students internalize, reconstruct, and reproduce school's evaluative impulse. A study traced four tenth-grade students' descriptions, experiences, and interpretations of evaluative discourse in their junior high school, especially focusing on ways of talking about effort, ability, and school success or failure. Each student participated individually in five semi-structured audiotaped interviews, which were then transcribed and coded exhaustively for that student's descriptors of effort, ability, and performance. In a sixth session, each student reflected on these descriptors they had used, sorted the descriptors inductively into categories, and explained the rationale for this arrangement. Thus, students created an elaborated conceptual map of their perceptions of evaluative terminology used by them, peers, and teachers across a range of situational contexts at school. These meta-maps provide highly individualized pictures of four students' conceptions of school evaluative language and how it relates to their own and peers' achievement motivation, interpretations of instructional practices, and strategies for social survival. Examined across the four students, the meta-maps present an insight into the school community's accepted discourse, its subtexts and social implications, and the relationships between evaluative language and motivation for school learning. (Contains 4 references. A sample meta-map is attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).