LearningTogether4OslopaperGenresandIndigenouslearners.doc -...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 16 pages.

Learning Genres, Learning About Genres and Learning Through Genres: Educating Indigenous Learners Ian G. Malcolm Edith Cowan University Paper presented to the international conference on “Genres and Discourses in Education, Work and Cultural Life: Encounters of Academic Disciplines on Theories and Practices,” Oslo College, 13 th -16 th May, 2001
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Genres and Schooling Among the many ways of approaching genres, the one which has had most influence on schooling in Australia in recent times has been that which developed in Sydney among such linguists and educators as Martin (1990, 1997), Rothery (1990), Derewianka (1990) and others. Although the conceptualization of the genre which is entailed in this approach is underlain by a complex application of systemic-functional linguistic theory (Martin 1997), it has often been briefly summed up in the description: “staged, goal- oriented social processes” (Martin 1997:13; Rothery 1990:43; Hardy and Klarwein 1990:2 (citing Martin and Rothery)). The way in which this approach to genre has been interpreted in schools has been to emphasize the purpose-related alternative forms of staging of texts, often supporting such teaching with “scaffolding” (Rose, Gray and Cowey 1999) or boxes in which the successive stages of the text can be drafted (Thwaite 1998; Education Department of W.A. 1994). Watkins (1999:131) has pointed out that approaches like this, which she calls “structuralist”, have been adopted in all state English syllabus documents in Australia. She sees them, however, as having an unfortunate effect on pedagogy, and quotes with approval Kress’s remarks that: “The Martin/Rothery account necessarily tends towards a firmer view of generic structure, a greater tendency towards reification of types, and an emphasis on the linguistic system as an inventory of types. With such a tendency goes the corresponding tendency pedagogically towards an emphasis on the matter of form, and a tendency towards authoritarian modes of transmission” (p. 130) Watkins (1999), in analysing the discourse of a teacher in a year 3/ 4 class in Sydney, notes that this teacher’s efforts to implement a “structuralist” curriculum lead her to treat a narrative text in such a way as to underestimate the importance of features other than the linear stages by which the curriculum defines the genre, and to be oblivious to student comments which respond to other features of the text. Thwaite (1998) observing the use of the genre approach in a Western Australian setting, also observed the potential dangers of an over-emphasis on formal features of text types, which, in her view, Martin and Rothery would not endorse (Thwaite, pers. comm.) and of limiting the focus of instruction to the genres for which structural frameworks are given in resource materials. Freedman (1995:75), writing from within the rhetorical genre tradition, has argued that, in view of the “highly contextualized and interactive nature of specific genres” the kind of explicit teaching of genres advocated by the Sydney school is probably a futile endeavour.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
  • Winter '08
  • Amos,Y
  • The Land, Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal Students, Ian G. Malcolm

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Get FREE access by uploading your study materials

Upload your study materials now and get free access to over 25 million documents.

Upload now for FREE access Or pay now for instant access
Christopher Reinemann
"Before using Course Hero my grade was at 78%. By the end of the semester my grade was at 90%. I could not have done it without all the class material I found."
— Christopher R., University of Rhode Island '15, Course Hero Intern

Ask a question for free

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern