# Intertextuality in diverse classrooms Why teachers’ increased awareness of intertextuality resulted in increased effectiveness for diverse students. Rebecca.

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Intertextuality in diverse classrooms Why teachers’ increased awareness of intertextuality resulted in increased effectiveness for diverse students. Rebecca Jesson SLP workshop February 2011

Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland But first, two tasks… 1Story to be recalled 2Problem to be solved

Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland Story to be recalled (at a later time).  A general wishes to capture a fortress located in the centre of a country. There are many roads radiating outward from the fortress. All have been mined so that while small groups of men can pass over the roads safely, any large force will detonate the mines. A full-scale direct attack is therefore impossible. The general’s solution is to divide his army into small groups, send each group to the head of a different road, and have the groups converge simultaneously on the fortress.

Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland Problem to be solved.  Suppose you are a doctor faced with a patient who has a malignant tumour in his stomach. It is impossible to operate on the patient, but unless the tumour is destroyed the patient will die. There is a kind of ray that can be used to destroy the tumour. If the rays reach the tumour all at once at a sufficiently high density, the tumour will be destroyed. Unfortunately, at this intensity healthy tissue that the rays pass through on the way to the tumour will also be destroyed. At lower intensities the rays are harmless to healthy tissue, but they will not affect the tumour either. What type of procedure might be used to destroy the tumour with the rays and at the same time avoid destroying the healthy tissue?

Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland How did you solve the problem?  10% can come up with answer without any initial story  30% (of the rest) can come up with answer given story but not cued to use it (noticed it independently)  75% (of the rest) can solve it using initial story once they are told that it is relevant (applied it)

Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland The traditional transfer paradox  Notoriously hard to get people to ‘transfer’ in experimental situations– learning does not seem to transfer  Theories of learning rely on learners basing new learning on prior knowledge

Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland 5 minute Discussion  What can we as teachers do to help children transfer / use what they know in the current situation? (transfer in)  What can we as teachers do to help children learn in ways so that they will use their knowledge in future contexts? (transfer out)

General conditions for transfer  Classrooms can either afford or constrain transfer of learning (Greeno, Smith, & Moore, 1993) (and learners need to perceive these affordances). –‘focusing phenomena’ (Lobato, Ellis, & Munoz, 2003) to cue relevant prior knowledge –‘framing’ (Engle, 2006) authorship / time  Knowledge that can be flexibly recreated in new contexts, rather than reproduced in form (Gee, 2001). –‘situated meanings’ (Gee, 1999) –‘Authoritative, connected knowing’ (Greeno, 2006) – acting with ‘conceptual agency’

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy  Component processes –Incorporation of students’ resources. That is: Instruction that values and builds on student ‘resources’ (Bishop, O'Sullivan, & Berryman, 2010; Lee, 2009; McNaughton, 2002) –Making what is implicit or assumed explicit and able to be controlled. Maori and Pasifika students identify the need for clarity and guidance around what is required and can be given directly (Amituanai-Toloa, McNaughton, Lai, & Airini, 2009; Bishop, et al., 2010)

Processes imply transfer of learning Transfer is: Preparation for future learning (Bransford & Schwartz, 1999) –Students use prior knowledge to make sense of what is taught (transfer in) (Schwartz & Martin, 2004) –Students use current learning to make sense of future learning (transfer out)

So how to achieve ‘double transfer’?  How can learners draw on their existing knowledge for writing? –Incorporation of the familiar  How can learners build knowledge for writing (that will be ‘cued’ for future contexts)? - Unlocking the unfamiliar

This implies building intertextuality – connections between texts  Texts drawn from multiple sources, an exponential network of connections.  References to other texts (either implicit or explicit) as an inherent feature of all texts (Bloome & Egan-Robertson, 1993; Hartman, 1995; Lemke, 1992).  Specific reference to an individual ‘intertext’ (Lemke, 1992) or genre (Bloome & Egan-Robertson, 1993).

Intertextuality and young writers  Therefore, writers use, could use or should use knowledge of a variety of texts as a resource for writing –carefully draw on such knowledge as a strategy for composing –acquiring increasingly flexible expertise as writer  Writers’ various sources of knowledge depend on individual intertextual histories: Intertextuality is necessarily idiosyncratic (Cairney, 1992).  Because of idiosyncrasy, essential that children’s ways of meaning are understood and taken up (Harris & Trezise, 1999).

Intertextuality and transfer  Intertextuality provides a basis for –making reading/ writing links in classrooms –prior knowledge links to texts from students’ other contexts.  Drawing on prior knowledge requires that reading and writing perceived and framed as inter- contextual  Theories of intertextuality show teachers that they are: –Knowledge: of and about texts (Lemke, 1992); –Composition: strategies for writers (Cairney, 1990, 1992) –Interaction: intertextual agendas of teachers and their poly-contextual students may diverge (Harris, Trezise, & Winser, 2002).

What would Instructional design look like? 1.Explicitly teach students to seek intertextual connections –expanding students’ intertextual histories, –identifying existing knowledge of texts, –building discourse knowledge. 2.Enable identification of intertextual connections to cue the prior learning necessary to make meaning in the current text (incorporation) 3.Develop a common intertextual history: guide learners in developing intertextual connections (unlocking)

What would teachers need to be aware of? 1.the divergent intertextual histories of the poly-contextual participants in lessons. 2.the intertextual positioning created by teaching, and one’s own intertextual agendas. 3.reading and writing as dialogic

What would instruction need to provide for learners?  Permission to draw critically from other texts as an aid to composition and comprehension  Shift from writing as ‘creating’ and inspiration to writing as ‘appropriating’ tools for own purposes

Research question  Theoretical ideas compelling but as Wilkinson & Son (2011) note – very little evidence of effectiveness  GIVEN a demonstrably effective intervention with Pasifika and Maori children which accelerated progress in writing to double that expected within a year  WHICH USED (inter alia) intertextual theories as a basis for building teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Research question cont.  THEN selecting effective teachers:  CAN WE identify their instructional practices with an intertextual focus using the instructional design principles

Observed intertextual teaching practices of case study (primary) teachers  Four recurring practices identified: 1.“Borrowing” from reading to writing 2.Making “tools” (e.g. writing frame) for future application to writing 3.“Layering” knowledge across multiple texts 4.Embedded discussion and “uptake”

1Borrowing -the reading / writing links “So we’ll have a look at the difference between the descriptions of that setting, and look at how it changed, and hopefully you’ll be able to take some of those ideas”.

1. Borrowing (not emulating)  Reading for ‘borrowing’ (incorporation, situated meanings, shared intertextual history)  Teaching of awareness through meta-language (unlocking the unfamiliar)  Permission to borrow (appropriation, agency)  Potential for critique, therefore repositioning of writers (only borrow the best bits)

Transfer to secondary?  Should a case to be made for ‘borrowing’ from texts in secondary contexts? (mismatch between texts students read and those they write?)  What features of texts can be ‘borrowed’ in the different content areas?  Which texts offer resources for borrowing? Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland

2.Creating tools to make texts Teacher We did something about a limpet sticking to a rock – I can’t remember what. (The teacher reaches back to the workbook and chart made during that previous lesson) Child I stuck to my position… Teacher like a limpet sticks to a rock… _____________________________________________________ Teacher:And a little challenge up there as well – to try and use the checklist that we developed last week for a narrative _____________________________________________________ TeacherDo you remember doing the data chart with me last week? It was this one, right ? (flicks back through teacher’s workbook)

2. Tools to make texts cont… Teacher: Just behind the board…there is a big huge, orange [sheet of] cardboard up there. So as I walked around yesterday, I had a look at some of your highlighted words, words that you identified, were really amazing, from that text. Okay and we are going to put them up there. And what we are really going to try hard to do this term, we are going to try really hard to understand the vocab and use the vocab again. Even though it’s not the words that we thought of, because we didn’t come up with any of these words, the authors came up with them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use them. Ok we can borrow some ideas and put them into the stories that we write…

2.Tools to make texts cont…  Authorship of tool (framing) –Making generalisations using meta -language  Texts: charts, frames, checklists and posters created by students –Charts etc used as the link –displayed in the environment – some learning resided in these charts  Theoretically, charts ‘cued’ relevant prior knowledge (focusing phenomena)/ framed learning as relevant for future application

Transfer to secondary?  What ‘tools’ would be useful for secondary students to create based on texts?  Would tools differ between content areas?  Which texts would be useful as a basis for creating a tool? Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland

3. Layering of multiple texts “I want show you yesterday’s group’s work, but what they came up with… They brainstormed some clothes that ‘Dan’ wore, some personality traits, of their own Dan. Attitude of their own Dan, and physical appearance (teacher records this on own brainstorm) So think of some words that would describe your character… They talked about personality. They talked about the clothes that their character liked to wear. They talked about physical appearance, and attitude… Culture – you might think about your Dan’s culture. If you think back to the description of Miss Trunchball, we got lots and lots and lots about her physical appearance. They talked about the size of her legs. I wonder what Dan’s legs are like? If you think back to Foolish Jack. Try to use some of those ideas that you came up with. We talked about his socks and his hair and his ears… Just build the character, he’s your character...”

3. Layering of multiple texts: TeacherOk – so a complete narrative, how are we going to be successful at that WALT. What do we need to be able to do? Student Plan Teacher What could we use to help us plan? Student The checklist Teacher Ok, what else? When we read stories, what do we use StudentUse the author’s techniques StudentConferencing Teacher We could use the conference checklist Teacher What else can we use? Student Old stories Teacher Old stories? For guidance? StudentOther ideas Teacher Your imagination Teacher What else can we use to help us plan this out? …… What type of mapping have we used before? Student Story maps Teacher Have you all done a story map before? Teacher What else do we do….? Student Brainstorms Teacher So you think to be successful at writing a complete narrative we are going to have to plan.

3. Layering of multiple texts  Multiple examples (resituating, awareness) –Systematically varied experience –Comparisons/ links between texts –Generalisations about texts  Links to created texts (multiple layers –shared intertextual history) –Students’ writing (via books/ sharing) –Tools (e.g. charts and signs)

Transfer to secondary?  How might Secondary classes be organised to facilitate the ‘layering’ of texts for students?  Would this differ across content areas?  Which texts could be ‘layered’ in this way? Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland

4.Embedded discussion Student – It’s a ti-gon. Student – That’s what we said Teacher- A ti-gon? Student -A ti-gon Student - What’s a ti-gon? Student - It’s a type of half lion… Student -Is it real? (discussion continues)

4.Embedded discussion TeacherOk, any other words on there that you don’t know? Student 1Yes miss Student 2that, El Dorado Teacher What do you think that El Dorado is? Student 1 a city, or a village Teacher like a city, or a place…like a village? Student 2Miss, it’s a place of gold. Teacher it’s a place of gold?….where does that give that away? (referring to the text) Student 2Miss, I’ve seen the movie

4. Embedded discussion  Intertextual links affirmed through ‘uptake’ (Bloom & Egan Robertson, 2003)  Discussion as the main pedagogical tool for incorporation  Opportunities for ‘true’ discussion (compared with ‘class discussions’ which are teacher led Q&A sequences)

Transfer to secondary?  What are the opportunities for embedded discussion in Secondary classes?  How might different content areas embed discussion around texts and tasks?  Discussion about which texts? Woolf Fisher Research Centre The University of Auckland

So effectiveness of explicit intertextual focus? 1.Framing (conceptual agency) –Students as appropriators of knowledge resources –Creators of tools – based on own experiences with texts and created for students’ future use 2.Situated meanings –Inter-contextuality of reading and writing –Multiple examples: ‘re-contextualising’

So effectiveness of explicit intertextual focus? 3.Agency and situatedness in classrooms –By incorporating the teaching of composing strategies which explicitly draw on situated textual knowledge –giving permission to investigate and appropriate the features of texts that work to achieve authorial purpose.

Conclusion – intertextual theory repositions writing instruction to be more culturally responsive  Intertextuality as incorporation and unlocking of textual knowledge  Textual inquiry (by students, with authority to talk) as building situated and authoritative textual knowledge

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