Inviting dissent in: Classroom practices for nurturing communities of readers in the early school years

Year: 2005

Author: Harris, Pauline, McKenzie, Barbra

Type of paper: Refereed paper

In the context of the early school years, this paper examines established classroom practices that focus on engaging young readers with texts. The lens used for this exploration is provided by transtextuality theory that accounts for ways in which texts build networks of meaning for readers to negotiate. Transtextuality theory originated in and serves literary criticism. However, this paper will demonstrate how this theory provides teachers and researchers with tools for interrogating classroom practices that seek to develop young readers as meaning makers. Examples of teaching strategies and learning experiences will be shared. These examples sometimes see dissent over interpretation arise among children or between teacher and children. This paper will identify ways that this creative dissent may be constructively managed as a positive resource for making meaning from texts. These classroom examples will be workshopped and explored in terms of how they nurture readers as navigators of meanings in the texts they read, view, share, recollect and talk about at school.