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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pedagogical relations of listening and becoming in children's everyday literacies : in conversation with Ted Aoki Pletz, Janet


In this inquiry a sociocultural lens of literacy was applied to acknowledge how research contexts of everyday life are tied to children’s learning and participation in diverse cultural and social situations and settings. In the tradition of reconceptualist curricular theorizing in contexts of early childhood education, this research was aimed at enhancing an awareness of relations of pedagogical listening in teaching situations, especially responsive to ethical possibilities as meaning making for pedagogical change (Aoki, 1978/1980; Pinar, 1994). This inquiry took into account listening to young children as active, knowing participants who bring experiences, insights, and knowledge about their lives and literacies into the classroom. Oriented in hermeneutic curriculum inquiry and narrative-interpretive methodology (Aoki, 1978/1980; Leggo & Sameshima, 2014), the study was located in two Kindergarten classrooms in a major city in Alberta, Canada during one school year, and focused on two students, their teachers, and parents. I explored the pedagogical relations of listening to young children’s everyday lives and literacy experiences across borders and contexts of home and school. Through Aoki’s pedagogical call (Aoki, 1990/2005) to theorize curriculum through re/awakening listening (dwelling with/in sonare), this inquiry aimed to understand: (a) young children’s perceptions of literacies, (b) the experience and meanings of relations of listening and literacy pedagogy in early childhood classrooms, and (c) the ways these relations are acknowledged by young children, teachers, and parents. Through conversational interviews (Chase, 2005; Silverman, 2001), narrative portraits (Ellis, 1998a/2006), informal interactions, and observations (Smith, Duncan & Marshall, 2005), and practices of life writing (Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers, & Leggo, 2009), the inquiry evoked meaning making from the Kindergarten-aged students’ narratives about lived experiences with literacy, including technology. Stories uncovered students’ perspectives and meanings of literacies when in transition from home to school. Parents expressed curiosity about literacies and “what teachers do” in developing relations with their children. Teachers became aware of, and attentive to, tensions in their teaching, especially regarding how they ascribed personal values to teaching practices as well as students’ literacy practices with/in the classroom. Teachers articulated the importance of attentiveness in listening to students’ stories as layered narratives of literacy learning.  

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