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ABS302 - Building bridges between learners’ out of school experience and their learning in the classroom to enhance their identity of participation

2.2 Identity and professional learning in new and diverse ecologies
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
11:00 AM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Midday Meal   12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table F
This paper explores how learning from students and their communities can be harnessed to enhance their agentive power as learners. The context is my participation as a teacher and teacher educator in a two year after school English language teaching program for socioeconomically disadvantaged learners. The progressive goals of the program which sought to enhance learners’ sense of the self in the classroom were diametrically opposed to the curricular goals pursued by the school which largely emphasized rote practices that muted learners’ voice. In this paper, I analyze how my learning about students’ everyday life in their community became the basis of my classroom pedagogical activities and helped me promote their agentive role in learning. My study is framed by a ‘Funds of Knowledge’ approach that seeks to value what students bring to school from their community as the basis of their school learning. It is based on Lev Vygotsky’s cultural-historical psychology which provides a perspective on learning as situated. It recognizes the essential role of cultural contexts and practices in the construction of knowledge and identities of participating individuals. The data are sourced from notes of my teaching plans and classroom processes, student scripts, interview of school teachers and class observation, pictures and video recording of the surrounding community, and conversations with students and their parents during home visits. The data are analyzed inductively using emergent categories. The findings will be used to draw implications for enhancing learner autonomy in the classroom.
Independent Teacher educator, India
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