Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pedagogic Voicing: The Struggle for Participation in an Inclusive Classroom

Annotation written by Christine Ingmanson


NARAIAN, S. (2011), Pedagogic Voicing: The Struggle for Participation in an Inclusive Classroom. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 42: 245–262.


Summary/Analysis:


In this article Naraian conducted a study in an Urban first grade classroom that had full immersion of students with physical and communication disabilities. The classroom teacher had strong efforts to create opportunities for the emergence of student voices.

This article begins with defining student voice. Research supports that “voice” is not about solidarity, but engagement from the environment around the individual. Student voice produces different kinds of identities due to the power relationships in the classroom and democracy. Therefore multiple voices can be produced from one individual and are not always synonymous with the representation of identity. (247)

Family opinions also played a large role in the child feeling connected within the classroom community. There was a parallel link to parents feeling deserving of the teacher’s attention and their child’s silence within the classroom or the identity created amongst their peers. Naraian really centralized the adult practices of both parents and teachers that partially created the social conditions in which student voice was activated. (257)

Relevant Quotes/Concepts:

“Students bring unique perspectives and insights and should be afforded the means to influence their own education.” (247)

“We are required to be attentive to who is speaking and more importantly, to whom one is speaking. Voices therefore, are never solitary, but always engaged. “(247)

“The activation of voice (and by extension the emergence of identity and agency) , it would seem, is not simply controlled by the individual alone, but is contingent on supportive preexisting social conditions.” (246)

“Calls for creating caring communities are premised on the development of meaningful relationships between teachers and students.” (257)

2 comments:

Stacey Caillier said...

This sounds like an interesting article! I'm especially intrigued by how the authors define voice, and how that definition allows for students to express multiple voices. I'd love to hear you expand on this idea and the following:

"There was a parallel link to parents feeling deserving of the teacher’s attention and their child’s silence within the classroom or the identity created amongst their peers. Naraian really centralized the adult practices of both parents and teachers that partially created the social conditions in which student voice was activated." (257)

What was the link? How did both adults and teachers contribute to student voice and how it was "activated"? I'd love to hear you discuss these ideas in your own words - I'm guessing the article itself used some pretty esoteric language and I'd love to hear more about how you made sense of what they were saying (and how useful you found it!)

Christine Ingmanson said...

This article did seem very convoluted, so I felt the message was lost by using such esoteric language.

My best interpretation of this is that the teacher is often described as "speaking for" students. This was done in a variety of situations ranging from students who were physically unable to communicate due to a disability, or in day to day communication with parents regarding student progress. This was her way of ensuring equitable participation amongst the entire class.

This article came to a conclusion that when it came to, "speaking for" the child, the views of the teacher and parent were not always the same. This had cultural connections.

An immigrant mother of the only mid-eastern student in the class was more concerned with her son feeling like a member of the classroom than with his academic success. This stemmed from her own feelings of exclusion in her school experience because she was a first generation immigrant. At a school review these thoughts from the mother where not even entertained because the teacher immediately said that he was someone that could go sit with anybody. The teacher felt that he had no trouble with classroom discussions and participation. The mother felt that because of his proficient reading level he was flying under the radar and only offering his academic knowledge to his peers. This was proven to the mother by the fact that he had no close friendships. The mother only heard a desperate cry at home, "Nobody is paying attention to me!" ( 253)

This makes me realize how important it is when communicating with parents that I'm allowing parents a solid opportunity to explain what their goals for the child are. So quickly I focus on academic goals and social goals for students that I see fit, and that I want to help develop. Parents insight is vital and can often open your eyes to view a child in a whole other light.

I also feel that children like the boy I described above (one who is at grade level, well behaved, easy to get along with) do get lost in many classrooms. We may not even have as much insight to share with parents because they seem to be doing "fine." Strong relationships need to be built with all children in the classroom.

Post a Comment