Essay: Two Characteristics Situated Practice And Text Participation

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  • Subject area(s): Education
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  • Published on: 14th June 2012
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Two Characteristics Situated Practice And Text Participation

The fundamental purpose of education is to ensure that all students benefit from learning in ways that allow them to participate fully in public, community and economic life. Specifically, literacy pedagogy is expected to play a particularly important role in fulfilling this mission. The primary concept of literacy pedagogy is to account for our culturally and linguistically diverse and increasingly globalised society. Literacy pedagogy must secondarily account for the growing variety of text forms associated with information and multimedia technologies.
Situated practice
Any successful theory of pedagogy must be based on views about how the human mind works in society and classrooms, as well as about the nature of teaching and learning (Cope, 2000). Cope (2000) argues that if one of our pedagogical goals is a degree of mastery in practice, then immersion in a community of learners engaged in authentic version of such practice is necessary. This is called situated practice. Explicitly, situated practice is about accessing knowledge and engaging learning (Stewart-Dore, 2003). By accessing knowledge ('experience the known') that students bring with them to the classroom deliberately, the teacher's task of engaging their learning attention is made easier and more effective by introducing new topic information to them ('experience the new'). Drawing on the known means that students are able to commit to using different types of approaches to explain, discuss or explore the text in a number of ways and from different perspectives (Stewart-Dore, 2003). The teacher then sets out a sequence of learning experiences ' a macro scaffold ' designed to support the students as they develop new understandings and skills (Sharpe, 2001). For instance, teachers conduct brainstorming sessions at the start of a lesson, where students contribute facts and concepts, opinion and feelings in respect of the matter in focus. A collection of related ideas is constructed. These concepts serve as a resource for making links between them and ideas to be encountered in the new learning context. Thus, situated practice, where teachers guide a community of learners as 'master' of practice, must be accompanied by other components (Cope, 2000).

Text analysis
The New London Group (1996) theorised the multiliteracies pedagogical approach which considers a wide range of different text types and a variety of textual design elements. Particularly, the four resources model consists of code-breaking, text participation, text use and text analysis (Henderson, 2012). The main purpose of the four resources model is to recognize and incorporate many of the current and well-developed techniques for training students in becoming literate. Henderson (2012) emphasised text analysis as conceptualization of ideas in terms of social and cultural dimensions. Luke (1995) described text analysing resource as critical competence, which involves awareness of how texts 'construct and position human subjects and social reality'. When students master critical competence, they become text analysts. Practices within this component involve understanding that texts are not ideologically natural or neutral, that they represent particular points of views while silencing others and influence people's ideas (Freebody and Luke, 1990). Text analysing is the ability to critically analyse written, spoken, visual, digital and multimodal texts. This includes teaching students to: identify the techniques used to position readers; identify points of view and bias; consider reactions to a text from varying perspectives. Thus, as capable text analysts, readers are able to critique authorial intent and the ideologies invested in texts, and perceive how 'text use various socio-cultural to constrain interpretation' (Freebody, 2004).
PART B ' Reflection
As noted earlier, text analysis is heavily dependent upon the power/knowledge constructions present in the class. In this case, essential learning concepts are introductorily established and demonstrated to students, who then are required to perform a practical experiment. Experiments are a central and critical feature in science. Experience shows that experiments are a way to create interest in science among students. They attract students of a wide range of abilities. More importantly, experiments promote the basic skills and competencies involved in science: procedural and manipulative skills, observation skills, skills of representing and interpreting data and the accompanying conceptual and critical abilities. Prospectively, students are required to write a practical report on the method, results and discussion. This requires students to record the observations/data/information correctly and systematically; to classify and categorize organisms; to use proper mode of summarising and reporting the result; to report the result using correct terms and technical explanations; to interpret the observations and results correctly. According, experiments help to engage students in learning by using analytical and logical capabilities.

The aspect of situated practice needs to recruit learners' previous and current experiences, as well as their discourses, as integral part of the learning experience. This aspect is achieved through a project in this scenario. Students are allocated to a group of two, where they need to evaluate and construct a correct example by deriving from the knowledge studied earlier, a food web in this case. In this way, students are exposed to known and new learning experiences. Students are also required to undertake internet research in order to find relevant information. This task entails students to use their logical and analytical skills as to indentify appropriate exemplars, which are relevant to their study. Additionally, the same task is also carried out by applying learn knowledge to create a poster, which is for practical purpose ' protecting home from fire. Students need to choose and evaluate appropriate information and applicable strategies in order to employ theoretical experiences to 'real life' experiences. By using situated practice in curriculum teaching, students are able to link academic knowledge to 'real life' experiences. Therefore, this aspect of pedagogy should be used developmentally to guide learners to the experiences and the assistance they need to develop further as members of the community capable of contributing ultimately to the full range of its resources (Cope, 2000).
This unit plan incorporates different types of resources such as multiliteracies, four resources model and a variety of textual design elements. One of the effective strategies of learning is that students have a chance to interact with a person from the relevant industry. This conveys to students the message that science is about the real world around us ' it is not just a theoretical subject abounding in formal definitions, formulas and laws. Also, the plan offers formative assessment where the teacher can observe and consult analysis of student work or peer- or self- review conducted by the students (Henderson, 2012). There are some limitations in this plan, which could be improved by introducing more activities such as debate, role play and class discussion, in order to create a supportive and engaging learning environment.

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