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ERIC Number: EJ999729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-1175-8708
English as a Site of Cultural Negotiation and Contestation
Turvey, Anne; Yandell, John; Ali, Leila
English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v11 n3 p26-44 Sep 2012
We offer this piece as an essay, a dialogic, many-voiced attempt to represent the tensions and contradictions in our work and the work that goes on in London schools. Locating our work within a polyphonic, narrative-based tradition of inquiry into practice (Burgess & Hardcastle, 1991; Doecke & McClenaghan, 2011; Parr, 2010; van de Ven & Doecke, 2011), we start with two stories arising out of our work as teacher educators. These stories provide insights into the effects of standards-based reforms on the lived experiences of school pupils and their teachers in England. We argue that they show something of the ways in which these changes in schooling are profoundly reshaping social relationships and subjectivities. To chart the effects of these changes is important in our view. And yet, for all the discursive and institutional power of the standards-based reforms, they fail to provide an adequate account of the complexity of what goes on in English classrooms. The agency of teachers and learners, effaced by the dominant discourse, is continually being reasserted, continually threatening to undermine the false simplicities of the standards. Questions of identity, of how learners and teachers alike are situated--and situate themselves--in history and culture, though absent from the dominant discourse, cannot so easily be dismissed. These questions are ones that we encourage our student teachers to take seriously and to address in their writing. We include in this piece substantial extracts from the writing of one of these students: Leila's reflexive contribution speaks back to the standards-based reforms, offering a very different account of her own learning and that of her pupils. We do not pretend to offer a neat resolution to these conflicting discourses; what Leila's account provides, however, is a reason to be hopeful. (Contains 6 footnotes.)
Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (London)