Teachers talking shop: A discourse study of TA coordination meetings
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation reports the findings of a study on teacher narratives recorded at a German Studies department over the course of one semester. Specifically, the study investigated co-construction of narratives among four groups of TAs during their weekly coordination meetings, focusing on the larger social processes and the local participation frameworks established in the process of co-narration. Furthermore, it explored the images of teachers and students, and the themes co-constructed in the narratives. The study involved fifteen TAs and one supervising faculty member. Narratives emerging in the course of their meetings were identified. For this purpose, a typology was developed which took into consideration not only past time narratives, but also those tellings which focused on anticipatory, hypothetical or generically occurring events. After emerging themes were tabulated, the co-constructed social projects and participation frameworks were explored using a microethnographic approach. Student and teacher images were investigated based on the evaluative devices employed. The results indicated that narratives were mainly told during the meetings to accomplish the sharing of experiences, the requesting and giving of advice, as well as the shaping of policies. The main themes addressed in the course of the tellings concerned grading and test-taking issues. TAs co-constructed themselves as group members as well as autonomous individuals. While generally displaying alignment with colleagues who were challenged by their students, the TAs also occasionally identified themselves as student spokespersons in opposition to their peers. When seeking advice, TAs were mostly reluctant to acknowledge their peers as givers of advice, and instead turned to the faculty member for help. TAs were generally portrayed in the narratives as competent speakers of the foreign language; understanding, engaged, communicative teachers; and facilitators for opportunities for learning. Students, in the majority of the narratives, were portrayed as lazy, cheating or unreasonable. This dissertation took into account the practices of co-construction which are at work when teachers narrate their professional experiences. So far, research on teacher narratives has mainly focused on data collected in contexts constructed by researchers. The contribution of this study is thus as research on naturalistically occurring teacher narratives.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquistion and Teaching