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Reading the teacher: teacher as multimedia text in the classroom communication milieu

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Maturana's discussion of communication, in particular his definition of communication as the ‘braiding together of languaging and emotioning’ (1993) is important to the literacy debate. Much recent writing on literacy tacitly acknowledges, though rarely surfaces, emotioning as an integral part of communication. This paper is concerned with why some students ‘fail’ literacy, which often results in ‘failing’ school. It suggests that student failure to read the communication text of teacher (in particular the emotioning of communication) is a contributing factor. Using Maturana's definition of communication, a framework borrowed from Halliday (1980) and ideas of text familiar to the study of literacy this paper plays with the notion that the questions of critical literacy may be usefully applied to teacher as text. It briefly explores the emotions literature as a starting point for the development of a language for classroom discussion of communication.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999


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