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The nature and significance of boundary negotiation between teachers and children from "non-school-oriented" backgrounds in early school reading lessons.

Gregory, Evelyn Elsie. (1992) The nature and significance of boundary negotiation between teachers and children from "non-school-oriented" backgrounds in early school reading lessons. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Children from families which do not share the language, culture or social class of the teacher are often viewed as 'disadvantaged' when they enter school. It comes as no surprise to teachers when these children experience problems in beginning reading in the classroom. The teachers' expectations are backed up by statistics showing that children from 'non-school-oriented' backgrounds are less likely to succeed at all stages in their school careers. Explanations for lack of progress are sought in the children's linguistic, cultural or cognitive deficiency or, most recently, in their inexperience of narrative and literature from home. Within this framework, children from 'non-schooloriented' backgrounds who step quickly and easily into reading in school can be explained only as 'exceptions' whose progress is beyond the teachers' control. In this study, I examine the origins of the teachers' beliefs. Using the example of two children from 'nonschool- oriented' families who make very different progress in early reading lessons as a starting-point, I question the validity of explanations grounded in the deficit of the child and the home. I then propose a new focus of attention; the interaction between teacher and child and their negotiation of the reading task during group and individual lessons. Through ethnographic and ethnomethodological approaches to studying the interaction between a group of children, their families and the teacher during the first eighteen months in school, I argue that a child's early reading progress does not depend upon entering the classroom from a 'school-oriented' home but an ability to engage in a specific pattern of dialogue and turn-taking with the teacher during early reading lessons. Ultimately, it depends upon the child being able to negotiate a joint interpretation of the reading task with the teacher.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Reading education,Achievement,Early childhood education,Home background,Teacher expectations,Classroom interaction,Language and education,Ethnomethodology
Subjects: Departments > Early Years and Primary Education
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 13:23
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:25
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