Examining children’s interpretations of teacher expectations in the literacy classroom
Australian Journal of Language and Literacy
Teachers’ enactments of literacy pedagogies are recontextualisations not only of curriculum documents, but of system and school-based policies, approaches, frameworks and the demands of assessments. These external inputs combine with teacher professional experience, beliefs about teaching and the roles of teachers and learners to generate pedagogies unique to each context. While these pedagogies can generate rich teaching environments and offer genuine opportunities for learning that connect strongly with students’ out of school experiences, they also require the learner to understand what is expected and how things are done in this classroom. Teacher expectations are expressed through the learning experiences they design and the ways they talk about them, and it is in these interactions that learners develop understandings about what counts as literacy. Within the frame of Green’s (1988; 2012) 3D model of literacy, we draw on semi-structured interview data from teachers and students in the middle years of primary school to examine teacher intent and learners’ interpretations of classroom expectations for literacy learning. We extrapolate these findings in connection with the operational, cultural and critical dimensions of literacy, and consider the implications for learners as they engage with the demands of what it means to be literate today.
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University of Wollongong