Academic Level PhD
Affiliation University of Warwick
Thesis Language English

APA Citation

Tam, P.C. (2007). A Multi-case Study of Chinese Language Classrooms with Drama as Pedagogy: A Dialogic Perspective  [Doctoral dissertation, University of Warwick].

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This multiple ethnographic case studies aims to investigate the critical literacy which emerged and emanated in the Chinese classrooms using drama as pedagogy. Drawing on the perspectives of Critical theories, Bakhtin Mikhail’s dialogism, and also the literatures on critical literacy, this study argues that there is disparity of statuses of languages, knowledges, cultures and peoples within the Chinese language classrooms. Considering that indoctrinated teaching, official Chinese language and functional literacy are deeply ingrained within Chinese education, this study explore the efficacy of drama to promote pupils‟ voices and transform the Chinese language education. Concepts grounded in dialogism such as habitus, anwerability, voice, carnival were applied to constitute a theoretical frame for data analysis. Finally, six Chinese classrooms were selected as cases for in-depth discussion. It was found that there was an absence of dichotomous practice of critical dialogical literacy when drama was used. Instead, shades of grey of criticality and dialogicality were identified within those case study classrooms, showing that the dynamic and intricate power relations between pupils and teachers, as well as the interplay between the official language, culture, knowledge and habitus and those of the unofficial. The results also revealed that the more drama was applied in the classroom, more lively and carnivalesque the classroom was, and hence a higher degree of criticality and dialogicality. It was found that drama allows pupils to participate and create their learning content and environment. In addition to the use of drama, the use of space, the classroom order, the teaching materials, the classroom talk and discussion, the pupils‟ bodily response all are crucial for giving rise to a dialogic space for drama to take place. All these elements worked as the integral architectonics which affected the emergence and development of pupils‟ voices.

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