10. Designing literacy pedagogy: scaffolding democracy in the classroom
J.R. Martin [+]
University of Sydney
David Rose [+]
University of Sydney
Context is important – not just for the texts we study but also for the research we undertake. And functional linguists who have played a part in literacy oriented action research projects in Australia have done so in the fortunate context of Halliday’s ground-breaking work on language development (1975; 1993; 2004) and its ongoing elaboration by various scholars, especially Painter (e.g. 1984; 1989; 1996; 1998; 1999; 2000; 2003a; 2003b; 2004). Painter (1986) in particular documents the understanding of language learning in the home which inspired Rothery’s design of literacy pedagogy for primary and secondary school1 (Rothery, 1989; 1996; Martin and Rothery, 1990). From Halliday and Painter, Rothery took the notion of guidance through interaction in the context of shared experience’, a principle which turned out to resonate strongly with (but was not initially influenced by) neo-Vygotskyan notions of ‘scaffolding’ (Mercer, 1994; 1995; 2000; for mediation across Vygotskyan and SFL perspectives see Hasan, 1995; 2001; 2004a; 2004b). Indeed, Applebee and Langer (1983) refer directly to Halliday’s work in their influential popularisation of Bruner’s term ‘scaffolding’ (originally coined in Wood et al., 1976); and Wells (e.g. 1999) has further developed the connections between Halliday’s linguistics and Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). In this paper we will briefly review the teaching/learning cycle developed by Rothery and her colleagues, which focused mainly on writing2. We will then describe how this pedagogy has been extended and refined for teaching both reading and writing in work by Rose and colleagues (Rose, 2004a, in press; Rose et al., 1999; Rose et al., 2004). This extension involves the re/design of both global and local patterns of interaction between teacher and students. Bernstein’s work on pedagogic discourse in relation to social class functions for us, as it has for Halliday, as the most relevant informing sociology for this work (Bernstein, 1975; 1990; 1996).