Layers of meaning : British Bangladeshi children's engagement with learning
AbstractThis study explores how young children of British Bangladeshi heritage experience instructional events offered in their home, school and community domains. It seeks to understand the sense that children make of these learning encounters, and especially of literacy related events, and thus how they constitute themselves as learners in the ritualised educational activities of their everyday lives. The study views children as active participants in their learning as they make meaning through their lived relationships with peers, siblings and adults. Learning, and particularly literacy learning, is studied from the children's perspective and interpreted within a wider social and cultural context. The study derives its theoretical and analytical frameworks from the research literature on pedagogy and theories of learning, and on the acquisition of literacy, as well as from a review of the Bangladeshi community's experience in the United Kingdom. The children in the study are drawn from three year groups, Reception class, Year Two and Year Five, in an inner-London primary school, and their families and community teachers. The methodology is broadly ethnographic, based on observing naturalistic instructional events as the children participate in literacy related activities in all three learning domains. It also uses interviews and conversations with children, and audiotape recordings of the children's interactions with peers and adults. The analysis takes the form of nine substantial instructional events, three for each of the year groups, with one event per year drawn from each of the three domains of home, school and community. The focus is on literacy learning and how children learn the ýrules', make meaning, and engage with their learning. The analytic process itself explores three layers of meaning: the event itself, the pedagogy of the event, and the broader sociocultural implications of the event for both children and adults. Conclusions suggest that these Bangladeshi children live their world and, as active learners, are able to engage successfully with teaching and learning in and across domains and over the years. In this participatory process they use their existing knowledge and experiences of learning to transform their knowledge, understanding and skills to constitute themselves as strong and flexible learners in their multilingual world.
Macaulay, Pauline Winifred (2008) Layers of meaning : British Bangladeshi children's engagement with learning. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.