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ERIC Number: ED442600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Pedagogic Work, Social Class and Cultural Difference.
Singh, Parlo
A study examined how pedagogic work in Queensland (Australia) schools could be reformed to meet the educational needs of low-achieving students from working-class and unemployed Samoan/Pacific Islander communities. Interviews were conducted with 39 primarily Anglo-Australian teachers and 35 Samoan/Pacific Islander parents and community members serving as paraprofessionals at five schools in a low socioeconomic area with many working-class Samoan immigrants. The interviews revealed that Samoan children are likely to enter school having been socialized into the respectful communicative practices of the "fa'aSamoa" (Samoan Way). Samoan culture has distinct social classes, and three language forms and accompanying dispositions are used in different social contexts. A Samoan individual's importance is in relation to the importance of other people, but Australian schools are operated from a European perspective, which is based on the individual. This sets up a disjuncture between the communicative dispositions of Samoan children and the behaviors expected of students in school. As a result, Samoan students are likely to experience difficulty accessing the knowledge transmitted through schooling. Community members attributed the educational difficulties of Samoan students to the communicative practices of schooling, specifically the form of the teacher-student relationship, rather than to curricular content. Changes that would minimize these difficulties include creation of a supportive preschool structure, relaxation of the pacing and sequencing of instructional and regulative discourses, and incorporation of community forms of symbolic control into the school environment. (Contains 33 references.) (TD)
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia