Student engagement, pedagogy and classroom discourse

Year: 2019

Author: Zammit, Katina

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Classrooms deliver powerful messages to students through their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment practices (Bernstein, 1996). These messages are embedded in the enactment or negotiation of learning, the selection of learning experiences and assessments, and the classroom discourse. Engaging messages embedded in the classroom pedagogic discourse provides students enrolled in schools in low socioeconomic areas to perceive themselves as learners and school as a place for them. Drawing on the Fair Go Program’s (2006; Munns, Sawyer & Cole 2013) (FGP) pedagogical concepts this paper will consider how one Year 3 classroom teacher working in a school where the FGP principles underpinned the school’s strategic plan and professional learning program enacted a pedagogy of engagement and transformation. The FGP pedagogical principles of the Insider Classroom and five discourses of power support teachers to reflect on their practices so they can better promote students’ engagement in learning and see education as a potential for them. The paper will focus on the learning experiences that developed students understanding of Animals and multimodal documentaries designed to provide students with high cognitive, high operative and high affective learning that promoted engaging messages to students about their knowledge, ability, control, voice and place. Excerpts from the classroom conversations between the teacher and student/s will be presented that demonstrate the discourse that affirmed these messages.