More than a Metaphor of Malfunction : Conceptualisations and Uses of Silence in the Worlds of Everyday Life and Teaching.

Ollin, Rosemary Elaine (2008) More than a Metaphor of Malfunction : Conceptualisations and Uses of Silence in the Worlds of Everyday Life and Teaching. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The word 'silence' is used in many different contexts and has been discussed from the perspective of various disciplines. This thesis compares how this complex concept is understood and embodied in the social practices of everyday life and teaching. The worlds of everyday life and the classroom are constituted by socio-cultural rules and discourses. These shape the ways participants view themselves and their relations with the other components of those worlds. In the current performative educational context, teachers must be 'seen' to teach and learners must be 'seen' to learn. As a consequence, talk and overt performance are assigned more value and significance than the less recoverable 'silent' activities associated with teaching and learning. This thesis explores those 'silent' pedagogies and what they tell us about the ways that teachers and learners position themselves within the cultural world of the classroom. Firstly, the thesis explores how individuals manage their relationship with the sensory environment and how certain types of sounds constitute an individual's sense of 'silence'. Then, it considers the way that individuals use 'silence' as a metaphor for a variety of different relational states in the worlds of everyday life. Using Vygotsky's work on the mediating function of language, the thesis discusses how silence can act as a mediating sign or tool. It then explores teachers' accounts of using many different types of'silence' in the formal learning environment. In contrast with the negative view of silence in the current educational context, teachers' descriptions of silence present a positive framing of its role in teaching and learning. From the data, a range of teaching and learning behaviours associated with silence are identified. Suggestions are presented on how knowledge of different silences can reframe notions of 'good teaching' and how these might inform observations of classroom practice.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2008.
?? psychology. ??
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Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:25
Last Modified:
13 Apr 2024 23:28