By Helen Sauntson
Gender is a hotly debated subject within the box of schooling. The position that language performs in academic contexts specifically within the lecture room has lengthy been said. Innovatively combining methods within the research of school room discourse this book offers wealthy empirical findings in addition to being theoretically fascinating and invaluable.
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Additional info for Approaches to Gender and Spoken Classroom Discourse
The students generally talked in groups of two to four. 30 Approaches to Gender and Spoken Classroom Discourse Observational ﬁeld notes For each lesson observed and recorded, I compiled a set of ﬁeld notes to accompany the transcripts obtained from the recordings of the student group discussions. Field notes are used primarily as a means of providing contextual information for each transcript and are a method which is commonly used in ethnographic research. They provide information about the overall aims and objectives of each lesson, the nature, requirements and goals of any group work employed, the times allocated to each activity within the lesson, the overall structure and progression of the lesson, the relationship between the lesson being observed and previous lessons, and general notes on the behaviour and activities of the students and teacher during the lesson.
This can, and does, include classrooms. Ethnographic studies entail the researcher being directly involved in the action and context under study as an ‘insider’, in order that greater insights can be obtained than would otherwise be possible. In other words, the ethnographer observes and participates in the environments they study, and therefore participantobservation is used as a main method of data collection. This is precisely the approach I adopted in the research presented in this book. However, the involvement of the researcher alters the context so that ‘the researcher is inevitably part of, and shapes, the research that is being produced’ (Tusting and Maybin, 2007: 578).
A high level of familiarity provided me with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the school’s activities, thus facilitating the ethnographic approach. The Data and Methods 27 majority of the staff were already familiar with my research. The teachers and students at the school were all used to having observers, in the form of parents, inspectors and researchers, and the school as a whole had a positive attitude towards educational research being carried out. This meant that neither the teachers nor the students felt inhibited or uncomfortable about having a researcher present during their lessons.
Approaches to Gender and Spoken Classroom Discourse by Helen Sauntson