analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Appearing not to hear

Recently I have been writing a draft of an article. I am drawing on sequences of talk from my PhD analysis of independent writing, although I have made some substantial changes to the analysis that appears in my thesis.

The sequences of interaction all relate to one student's attempt to get help to write the word 'eat'. Although I spent months developing the transcript that the talk is taken from, I found several points of difference when I began analysing the transcript this time -basically utterances that didn't seem to make sense in relation to talk that came before it. I went back to the video and audio recordings -a day's work resulted in the changes that I have now made to the transcript.

My analysis has also changed. I have taken a different angle to the analysis in my thesis where I examined the talk in relation to one student's correction of the errors made in helping. This time I have focused on the ways in which students use "not hearing" to avoid giving help. Not hearing appears to be an important method for avoiding providing help without directly declining to give it, not hearing also avoids providing an answer that is powerfully required by a direct question. Not hearing was also used by students to exclude another without saying anything. All up - an effective way to manage social activity when students are seated at tables in close proximity to each other.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

catching up

Today marked the end of of my teaching commitments for the year. I visited two schools watched two lessons, met with the students and their teachers. I can't say that I am sorry to have finished. There are lots of things that I need to attend to very, very soon.

First up will be the chapter that I am writing with Associate Professor Susan Danby at QUT. The focus for that will be young children's communication and we will be drawing on data from our respective PhDs. I am very lucky to have been asked to do this. I have suggested to Susan that we might try using Writely since we are so far apart, and will not meet before the draft of the chapter is due.

A couple of weeks ago I found out that my paper for AERA had been accepted. I was very excited about that. A colleague from Ballarat will also be attending so we have booked airflights and accommodation in San Francisco -now just gotta write the paper. We are planning to stay for 12 days (that worked out cheaper than staying for under a week). Although I have travelled a lot I have never been to the US and San Francisco is just one of those places that i would like to visit (it is the "old hippy" in me, and yes, I have been humming "If you're going to San Francisco ...").

Early Career Researcher Program finished a couple of weeks ago. All participants had to develop a proposal for funding using the ARC model, and submit it to the DVC (Research). I ahve received most of my funding and will conduct the small study in 2006. My focus -young children on-line. CA study. Should be good.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

research supervision

I recevied an email today from one of my PhD supervisors. Dr Calvin Smith came on board to supervise me, as an associate supervisor, after Peter Renshaw left UQ. Shortly after Calvin became my associate supervisor, my principal supervisor Carolyn Baker was diagnosed with cancer and died. Calvin wrote to ask me about my final examiners' reports since he resigned from UQ before I completed my thesis.

sounds like a litany of names and supervisors doesn't it.I guess, though, that the experience is not uncommon today. Starting out with a supervisor in no way assumes that you will finish with that person. In my own case, I deliberately sought out Carolyn Baker to supervise me in my PHd because of her expertise in the area of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. Carolyn's untimely death from cancer changed the course of my PhD studies in numerous ways.

Thinking about all this lately, I have realised what a venture the PhD supervision experience is in relation to time. I now have my own students to supervise and am mindful that it is a serious undertaking that will draw me together with individuals for up to five or six years. that is some commitment and not to be taken lightly.