Some clouds, 11C (11C)
For the next few moments it is October 43rd or Kislev 5th.
I really only have two points I'd like to share tonight (I'm denying the other three or four right now, so they won't feature).1. This is the state of "academic research"?
So, I've recently joined a real-live professional association
and that means I get their real-live professional journals. One paper is called "Learning to be a Teacher : blahblahblah". Now, I've known since that what-his-face nobel laureat in economics wrote that book about how being poor sucks and is oppressive that academic writing is about stating the painfully obvious in even more painful detail and often with fancy words which are [ideally] bigger than the point they're used to make (extra points for un-obvious obfuscation!). I give you this excerpt :
This longitudinal study examined how two teacher trainees [d00ds A and B] developed their classroom interactional practices in terms of assessments [typically feedback] and directives [instructions] and constructed their identities as teachers over a period of 19 months.
Emerging from the microanalysis of the data, observable changes were manifested by the two elementary school English teacher trainees in deployment of assessments during classroom activities. Initially, Shota [d00d A] aligned with the assessments given by the ALT [Assistant Language Teacher, the foreigner] and JHTs [Japanese Homeroom Teachers, the authoritays] by joining in with applause and producing embodied assessments in the form of head nods, but without participating in any verbalization of the assessments. Makoto [d00d B] also echoed assessments deployed by the ALT and JHTs through his alignment with the applause they initiated, and also echoed their verbal assessments but only in the same form. By Time 2, a year later, Shota verbalized assessments when interacting individually with students, when translating the JHTs productions from Japanese to English, and when taking charge of whole-class activities. Makoto manifested change through deployment of a greater variety of assessments, and occasionally bt deploying some assessments sequentially earlier than the ALT or JHT. Finally, over the period of 19 months covering the data collection analyzed here, both Shota and Makoto deployed assessments in a greater variety of sequential environments, many self-initiated or sequentially prior to the other teachers, while their follow-up assessments were always upgrades.
As the trainees' interactional practices evolved, there was a change in their social orientations as teachers. Initailly, the trainees articipated peripherally and orientated mainly to themselves as assistants. However, as they were socialized into classroom culture and changed their interactional practices, they frequently displayed characteristics that are conventionally associated with teachers....
This paper was 23 pages long and included a list of 48 references. Under"Data" the authors explain that they went through 30 hours of film (although they only actually went through and analyzed 120 minutes for each of the two teachers, but there was 30 hours of film taken to be at their disposal...) of veeeeery beginner-level classes (in one, the target, apparently, is counting to seven--I will, however, concede that this was a 4th-grade class (9- and 10-year-olds) and being a Yokohama public school probably nobody goes to eikaiwa).
Under "Method", we have one of my favorite moments in the whole piece :
Initially, the data in this study were transcribed, then a number of general observations were framed about the interaction through analysis of both the transcribed and recorded data, following which an interactional phenomenon of interest was identified through reanalysis of the data.
Interpretation : they were looking for something to practice their conversation analysis application on that could possibly get both authors another publication.
Under "Analysis", we learn that "Emerging from the analytical practice of unmotivated looking, analysis revealed developments of the trainees' classroom interactional practices over time in two areas: (a) provision of assessments to students, and (b) initiative in giving directives."
"Looking"? Really? And "unmotivated"-ly, at that...
I suspect it may be unprofessional or at lease discourteous to write out my full reaction, but, basically, if I understand this research properly, they're saying two d00ds who were training to be teachers were stand-offish and not really fulfilling their roles at first but with experience came to behave more as they are supposed to by gaining some sense of the environment and therefore confidence to act in it. >_o Um... o_< This is news? Ppl get used to things through exposure and becoming acclimated increases their effectiveness is new information? And acting in a certain role often generates the same responses as those in the role?
Although, for stating the obvious, they [the doctorate-holding authors] do do a really good job of backing it up with actual transcriptions of specific instances of obvious and gloriously extrapolating profound obviousness. Which is at once graceful and horrific.
From now on, I will read mainly conclusions. And certainly conclusions first.
This whole endeavor I'm attempting may be challenging on levels I had previously failed to predict.... To those already experienced in any field which involves the reading of "academic research", please accept this as a humble apology for my n3wbness. The stuff I read for my BA thesis wasn't so... clearcut. I'll try to get over it quickly.2. More on literacy!
I totally bought a book tonight on Amazon for kindle pc and started reading it. This could well be the beginning of something very beautiful, folks...!