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ERIC Number: EJ857883
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Conceptualizing Interpretive Authority in Practical Terms
Mayer, Susan Jean
Language and Education, v23 n3 p199-216 May 2009
While educational theorists have long debated the pedagogical value of granting students the authority to construct certain of their own understandings in collaboration with their peers, a lack of empirical markers of student "interpretive authority" has constrained comparative study of the pedagogical tradeoffs at stake. Yet the thoughtful nurture of collaborative knowledge construction processes must represent an essential aim of democratic schools, which are charged with the responsibility of adequately preparing students to participate fully in democratic life. This paper offers a conceptualization of interpretive authority based on an extrapolation of the traditional initiation/response/feedback coding sequence and other reliable discourse measures. The discourse patterns of six pedagogically diverse preparatory school classrooms in the United States are employed to illustrate a range of authority balances within respected classroom practices. A five-part frame for the practical characterization of interpretive authority within classrooms is proposed. (Contains 7 figures and 15 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A