Silseth, K. (2018): Students’ everyday knowledge and experiences as resources in educational dialogues
In this article, I analyze teachers’ use of students’ everyday knowledge and experiences as resources for learning in educational dialogues. By analyzing video data of teachers’ attempts to contextualize instruction in naturalistic settings in a lower secondary school, I examine how teachers use such resources to support and guide student learning. By employing a situated approach to learning, I provide a turn-by-turn analysis of how teachers use students’ everyday knowledge as resources to socially construct knowledge when working with academic subject matter. The concepts of intercontextuality and positioning function as analytical tools that enable an analysis of the relationships between the use of everyday experiences and the social organization of participation during teachers’ instructional work. The findings show that attempts at contextualizing instruction were identified in many of the lessons. The findings also document that teachers face both challenges and opportunities when contextualizing instruction. A turn-by-turn analysis shows that the function of everyday experiences in educational dialogues depends on how such resources are mobilized, how they are brought into the conversations, as well as the roles assigned to students in the dialogues. In the article, issues contributing to the productive use of everyday resources in educational dialogues are displayed and discussed.