Publication Details

Harris, P., Trezise, J. & Winser, W. N. (2002). "Is the story on my face?": Intertextural conflicts during teacher-class interactions around texts in early grade classrooms. Research in the Teaching of English, 37 (1), 9-54.


This paper reports on a three-year naturalistic inquiry into intertextuality in early grade classrooms. Specifically, the paper focuses on intertextual conflicts during teacher-class interactions where teachers are reading and modeling texts as well as guiding children to read and talk about text content, purposes, genres, and structures. These conflicts are identified and examined within a conceptual framework that accounts for intertextuality in terms of written texts, lived experiences, lessons, and processes in individuals. In exploring these conflicts, the study reveals that intertextuality in classrooms is not a systematic business. Rather, intertextuality can take on many guises in classroom interactions around texts and is a highly idiosyncratic and often elusive affair. The paper further concludes that the greater power of mandated syllabus documents over teachers and the greater power of teachers over children make intertextuality a complex venture, for children are expected to locate and articulate preferred, predetermined intertextual meanings in ways that teachers expect and state syllabus documents mandate. This expectation renders intertextuality very challenging for teachers and children alike.