Workshop with Julia Snell, University of Leeds, Using Video to Analyse Language Ideologies in the Classroom: From Research to Practical Intervention
Close analyses of video-recorded classroom data help us to understand how language attitudes and ideologies manifest in situated interaction, and how these influence teachers’ practice, pupils’ identities, and learning processes. For example, research has shown that negative attitudes to non-standard varieties in educational contexts can have detrimental effects on speakers’ confidence, decrease motivation, and discourage participation. This work has led researchers to call for awareness raising or attitudinal change among educational practitioners. Video data has an important role to play in this endeavor, but it also raises issues about how we, as researchers, might work with educational practitioners. First, teachers have multiple, complex, and conflicting views. Teachers who adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to non-standard language in the classroom may, at the same time, express their concern for pupils’ individual well-being and sense of identity, with language diversity seen as a key aspect of this. In addition, many teachers already value language diversity but struggle to reconcile this with institutional demands, such as a centralized national curriculum and pressure from high-stakes standardised testing. Second, we know that views about language are often about much more than language, which means we may be faced with challenging deeply ingrained (and unconscious) racial, gender and class-based biases. This brings our research into very sensitive ethical terrain, particularly for those of us who want to translate our research data and findings into resources for professional development. All of this raises questions, such as: How can we use analyses of video data to challenge teachers’ assumptions and implicit biases without alienating them? How do we speak to teachers in ways that they can relate to and find useful, while also remaining committed to nuanced theoretical accounts of complex linguistic practices and ideological processes? If we want to use video data from our research in professional development workshops, how can ensure a respectful and supportive discussion of the teachers and pupils appearing in the video without ‘protecting’ them from the constructive criticism that is likely to be most conducive to learning? We will address these questions in the workshop through guided analysis of classroom data.
Workshop with Line Møller Daugaard, VIA University College, Linguistic Ethnography among Toddlers and Young Children in Early Childhood
Nurseries, daycare centres and kindergartens constitute important societal institutions – and interesting fields of linguistic ethnographic exploration. This workshop springs from one of two often quoted tenets in linguistic ethnography: Analysis of the internal organisation of verbal (and other kinds of semiotic) data is essential to understanding its significance and position in the world. Meaning is far more than just the ‘expression of ideas’, and biography, identifications, stance and nuance are extensively signalled in the linguistic and textual fine-grain (Rampton, 2007, p. 585). We will explore what this entails when linguistic ethnography takes places among toddlers and young children in nurseries and other early childhood institutions. Investigating early childhood institutions poses a series of challenges to the linguistic ethnographer: How do we negotiate access to young children’s everyday life in the institution? How do we make sense of young children’s communication? How can we as linguistic ethnographers engage in dialogue with toddlers and young children? And finally: How can we represent young children’s communicative repertoires in meaningful and adequate ways when writing up our linguistic ethnographies? This workshop builds on an ongoing linguistic ethnography exploring language practices in three Danish nurseries targeted at 0-2-year-old toddlers and is inspired by White’s conceptualisation of the toddler as “a competent yet vulnerable communicator of and with many voices” (White 2011, p. 63) and of “toddler voice” as a plural concept including “any sound, gesture, movement or word that has the potential to be recognized by others in social exchange” (White 2011, p. 64). In the workshop, we will work with data from the nursery project and discuss potentials and challenges in doing linguistic ethnography in early childhood settings.
Workshop with Mariëtte de Haan, Utrecht University, and, Alfredo Jornet Gil, Co-designing for Social Change across Institutional and Organizational Boundaries: Principles and Methods
In a context of growing challenges to democracy as well as to the environment, there is an increased need for forms of inquiry that not only inform but also foster social transformation and innovation, which often demands crossing institutional boundaries and engaging in trans-disciplinary collaboration. The purpose of this workshop is for participants (from junior to senior scholars and practitioners) to learn about, practice with, and jointly develop principles and methods aimed at facilitating collaborative inquiry across institutional boundaries, with a particular focus on—but not limited to—collaborations between schools and out-of-school institutions and organizations, such as cultural centers and museums, industry stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations. The workshop takes as point of departure the notion of social design experiments (SDE), an interventionist form of research that uses democratizing, collaborative design as a means to both foster and analyze social transformation across social and institutional boundaries. SDEs build upon participatory ethnography and design-based approaches and adds a focus on social change and social justice. In SDE, participants with different backgrounds and from different organizations join together to address collective objects of concern in their community. In the workshop, the organizers will present the approach’s premises and concepts by grounding them in empirical materials from two research projects aimed at social change: a project focused on transforming teaching practices to deal with issues of polarization in The Netherlands, and a project focused on transforming the role of schools in fostering climate action and sustainability. These materials will be mobilised in hands-on activities in which workshop participants will have the chance to explore concepts and tools for engaging in collaborative design aimed at remediating social inequity and injustice.