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Download Children's Voices: Talk, Knowledge and Identity by J. Maybin PDF

By J. Maybin

Drawing on ethnographic learn inside and out the school room, Janet Maybin investigates how 10-12 year-old kids use speak and literacy to build wisdom approximately their social worlds and approximately themselves, as they negotiate the transition from formative years into youth. in the course of the research of examples of speak, she indicates how teenagers use collaborative verbal suggestions, tales of private event and the remodeled voices of others to enquire the ethical order and forge their very own identities.

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Extra resources for Children's Voices: Talk, Knowledge and Identity

Example text

Through their talk, children could try out new kinds of scenarios, identities and relationships, and they could also revisit and fall back into familiar practices. Michelle was a slight, retiring 11 year-old girl whom I had not noticed in the classroom until I ended up helping her and Kim with their work one afternoon and got into chatting with them about what they liked to do outside school. Michelle said she often made up stories with friends and offered to tape one of these for me. The first two extracts below comes from Michelle’s recording of herself, her 4 year-old cousin, Natalie, and a 10 year-old friend, Sharon, who are all playing together in Michelle’s bedroom.

In fact, the flavour of ‘playing house’ may be partly a result of Natalie’s involvement in the story. In school, however, Michelle’s friend Josie quickly takes on an independent role, introducing the idea of ‘cherry picking’ in line 21, which Michelle takes up and incorporates into the story. Michelle also follows Josie’s cues in lines 28, 31 and 37. The first bedroom story also undoubtedly provides part of the context for the second story for Michelle (and myself). We can see traces of the cueing Michelle used at home continuing in the second story even after Josie initiates her own part, so that a pattern develops where Josie makes a contribution, Michelle retrospectively cues it, and Josie repeats it (lines 30–2 and 36–8).

At the most basic level, I found that terms like ‘speaker’ and ‘listener’ were unwieldy and misleading in trying to understand the dialogic interweaving of voices within children’s conversations. Rather than one speaker communicating a particular ‘message’ and another responding in the conventional notion of a dialogue, there was a constant ongoing process of interactive and recursive meaning-making among children. As I shall explore in more detail in Chapter 3, one child might start an utterance and another complete it, or retrospectively undermine a previous meaning.

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