Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Of Habitus, Discourses, Subjectivities and Curriculum-in-use: Constructions of Identities in Two Secondary Schools

Dr. Maha Sripathy, Mardiana A B.


There have been many theories put forth about the relationship between identity and literacy, and how identities and literacies are constructed and practiced within relationships of race, gender, class and institutional space.

This paper is an exploratory study that seeks to understand the complexities of identities as a construction and a consequence of interaction between students, institutional discourses and practice. It will examine how even as certain situated practices shape students’ literacy, literate practices are used by these students as tools for representing or performing particular identities. The paper will also analyse the subjectivities students formulate in response to the Discourses and curriculum-in-use that they encounter within their classrooms and their consequent differentiated sense of agency.
There have been many theories put forth about the relationship between identity and literacy, and how identities and literacies are constructed and practiced within relationships of race, gender, class and institutional space.

This paper is an exploratory study that seeks to understand the complexities of identities as a construction and a consequence of interaction between students, institutional discourses and practice. It will examine how even as certain situated practices shape students’ literacy, literate practices are used by these students as tools for representing or performing particular identities. The paper will also analyse the subjectivities students formulate in response to the Discourses and curriculum-in-use that they encounter within their classrooms and their consequent differentiated sense of agency.

The two researchers involved in this study have a particular interest in the literacy engagements and construction of identities of minority students in Singapore schools and this paper will reflect their participant observation work, interviews and focus group engagements with minority students from two secondary one classrooms. The two schools chosen for the fieldwork hail from opposite ends of the achievement continuum – one is an elite single-gender school, the other a neighbourhood co-ed school. Entrance to the schools was predicated on the aggregate scores students obtained from a national examination (the Primary School Leaving Examination). Socio-economic indices and race compositions of the two schools are also markedly different.

Presenters

Dr. Maha Sripathy  (Singapore)
Assistant Profressor
Division of English Language and Literature School of Arts
National Institute of Education

Maha Sripathy is a teacher educator and has been actively involved in literacy research. Her research interests include literacy assessment, teacher agency development, cross-cultural discourse and popular culture and youth educational success


Mardiana A B  (Singapore)
Research Associate
Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University

Ms Mardiana A B is a Research Associate in the Centre of Research for Pedagogy and Practice. Her research interest includes Critical literacy; Home-school socialisation issues; Popular culture; Access and Lifepathways studies; Education policy

Keywords
  • Literacy and Identity
  • Literacy Practices
  • Curriculum-in-use
  • Discourses



(30 min. Conference Paper, English)