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Deficient 'disadvantage students' or media-savvy new meaning makers?: engaging new metaphors for redesigning classrooms and pedagogies.

journal contribution
posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by P Thomson, B Comber
Words work in powerful ways in the world. We work from and with an understanding that the ways we talk about people, places and practices matter. If this was ever in doubt, witness recent media reports of the 'attacks on America' and the aftermath of the 'war on terrorism': the world's people have been re-divided both metaphorically and materially in these phrases. Meaning is constructed in and through language as categories, metaphors, rationales, stories, and tropes (Game & Metcalfe, 1996) and, while these are just representations of ideas, practices and material events and circumstances (Hall, 1997), we nevertheless act on those meanings (Fairclough, 1989; Gee, 1999). For example, whether people are described as 'border crossers,' 'invaders,' 'nomads,' 'gypsies,' 'asylum seekers' or 'refugees' affects how they treated, what they can be and what they can do. And in education, whether it's the 'literacy hour' or 'catching children in the net' or reading 'recovery,' words are inevitably tied to programs and proposals for solutions. How the problems are described and defined are crucial in how decisions are made.

History

Journal

McGill journal of education

Volume

38

Issue

2

Season

Spring 2003

Pagination

305 - 328

Publisher

McGill University

Location

Montreal, Qc.

ISSN

0024-9033

eISSN

1916-0666

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Faculty of Education of McGill University

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