ABSTRACT This thesis explores prevailing discourses of language and learning in relation to lingual minority children in the Danish public school system, Folkeskolen. The thesis is bases on the assumption that public school systems ought to have the encouragement of democratic citizenship as its overriding purpose. This necessitates the development of a critical faculty and the sense of choice amongst schoolchildren. This purpose is there for in fact obstructed if school systems adopt an uncritical approach to its own arrangements in terms of curriculum, didactics, and pedagogy etcetera, as this reproduces inequality. The thesis’ approach is based on critical discourse analyses. The prevailing discourses of language and learning in the Folkeskole is currently characterised by change. This entails a shift in discourse, which allows the ethnicity of minority children to fade in to the background in the favour of a perspective more exclusively occupied with their lingual features. This shift in perspective is attributable to a rising interest in language awareness as a key component in learning processes amongst teachers and headmasters as well as the Danish Ministry of Education. This notion sets up new subject positions for lingual minority children. Namely the position as the lingual aware child. This also creates the notion of all children regardless of ethnic background potentially having an insufficient language. It is thus continuously legitimate to place children’s languages in a hierarchy in the Folkeskole and categorise some language variations as problematic. Only is it no longer legitimate to do so based on ethnicity or bilingualism. This notion creates the novel category Sprogbørn (Lingual Children). This is a category created for children whom teachers perceive as having insufficient language, regardless of their ethnicity. The rising interest in language awareness correspond to a rising interest in learning awareness. Learning awareness is a didactic notion, which views learning almost exclusively as an individual, cognitive process. It is argued that this marginalises the social and structural aspects of learning as irrelevant. The individual, cognitive learning processes of children are regarded as something teachers are to control by making the children control them themselves in accordance to the expectations of the school. The teaching methods attributed to this form of learning are often stated as inspired by the work of the educational researcher, John Hattie and his notion of Visible Learning. The finds of Hattie’s research are often described in terms such as based on evidence and disinterested, which in contrast to former, ideologically biased notions are pointed out as a legitimate foundation to base notions of teaching on. I argue Hattie’s notions to be based on an instrumental and operational view on the purpose of schooling. This entails a point of view where the main purpose of public schooling is to create people capable of assimilating to the demands of their social environment, now as in the future, a oppose to asses these demands and, possibly, challenge them. I therefore conclude the prevailing discourses of language and learning in relation to lingual minority children to be insufficiently critical in terms of realising the potentials of empowerment and emancipation Folkeskolen has. I also argue that the notion of almen dannelse although threatened might hold the potentials for democratic citizenship which other discourses in Folkeskolen seem to be lacking.
|Uddannelser||Kultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatPædagogik og Uddannelsesstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||28 aug. 2014|
- lingual minorities