Cand.Philol. Joke Ingrid Dewilde's dissertation for the degree of PhD
The title of the dissertation is:
Ambulating Teachers. A case study of bilingual Teachers and teacher Collaboration.
The kernel of this dissertation is a two-case study of bilingual education, bilingual teachers and teacher collaboration in primary and lower secondary school in Norway. The main objective is to contribute to a better understanding of educational challenges and possibilities related to bilingual teachers’ collaboration with other teachers in the education of emergent bilingual pupils in Norwegian compulsory schools.
I approach collaboration from a dialogistic perspective, with the bilingual teachers’ conversations with others interpreted as situated interaction. Accordingly, I am interested in their sense making, actions and interactions with other teachers, and in their collaborative possibilities and challenges. More specifically, I adopt a heteroglossic lens on bilingualism and bilingual education, thus viewing teachers’ and pupils’ language practices as a resource for learning, and as a starting point for reflecting upon teacher collaboration.
Being on the move is a vital characteristic of bilingual teachers’ everyday life and working situation. They not only travel between schools, but they are also found to ambulate within one school, that is, between classrooms, team rooms and group rooms, and in a more figurative sense between grades, subjects, languages and cultures. In order to engage with their movement, I have developed a discursive shadowing technique, which enabled me to move with the teachers across school settings, at the same time as audio recording their conversations with others, and reflecting upon their work while on the move.
My theoretical and methodological lenses have contributed to a broadened understanding on teacher collaboration. This understanding has further been extended through the identification of multiple aspects related to teacher collaboration in the two case studies. Amongst them are the (lack of) continuity and fragmentation in bilingual teachers’ work, teachers’ academic backgrounds, the need for continuous conversations and discussions, translanguaging practices as a collaborative strategy, and different opinions on bilingualism and bilingual education.