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ERIC Number: ED568329
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 238
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-4196-5
Discourse and Discipline: Third-Grade Literacy Practices in Suburban Spaces
Mower, DeAnna Johnson
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
This study focuses on teacher literacy practices in a suburban school district. Using a Foucauldian perspective of discourse and technologies in analyzing teacher literacy practices provides a conceptualization of why teachers might use the practices they do. Discourses are the socially shaping understandings of best teaching practices imbedded in national discourses of policy, testing, and neo-liberalism. These discourses manage technologies. Technologies are the goods and services provided to teachers that encourage particular practices or behaviors. Technologies also include surveillance practices for sustaining particular behaviors. Technologies function differently at differing suburban schools. Even though similar materials and services are provided to each school in this study, teachers take up literacy practices in dissimilar ways. Three teachers, including myself, from four different schools within the same suburban school district were observed in their literacy instruction over a yearlong period. Each school denoted a low-, mid-, and high-performance on their testing consistently for the 5 years previous to the study. The data and analysis concludes that surveillance practices were much higher in the low-performing school. The tighter surveillance more closely regulated the teacher's behavior to conform to rules, regulations, and consumer products supported by technologies. The teacher at the high-performing school had the least amount of governance on her practices, and she was able to utilize alternative discourses in her practices. Because of the differences in technologies guiding practice, students at each school received differing literacy knowledges. At the low-performing school, students received much more literacy instruction in skill sets through isolated social relationships, while students at the high-performing school received literacy instruction through social interactions of application and analysis. Furthermore, for all of the teachers in this study, national neoliberal discourses influenced teaching literacy practices because they are inherent in discourses framing policy and materials that are apparent in teaching behaviors. Therefore, I conclude that teacher quality is diffused with school performance and its associated technologies rather than directly to the teacher. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A