Pedagogy or Ideological Struggle? An Examination of Pupils’ and Teachers’ Expectations for Talk in the Classroom
University of Exeter
Language and Education
This paper draws on research into teachers' and pupils' perceptions of talk in school. Drawing on sociocultural perspectives, it shows that expectations of talk are grounded in particular sociocultural values that represent hegemonic interpretations of the quality of talk and classroom discourse. Although much has been written about classroom talk, the pupils' voice is often absent from discussion. The children in this study revealed very different views of the expectations of talk from that of their teachers'. In particular, they appeared uncertain about whether their teachers liked them to talk but they seemed very clear that the teacher was in control of the talk. Despite pupils' enthusiasm for talk, their teachers held negative views of certain pupils' performance. It is argued that both pupils' and teachers' expectations are guided more by their own perceptions of an ideal state than by pedagogic or heuristic motives.
Language and Education, Volume 22, Number 1, pp. 1-16