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Transforming literacy practice: surviving collisions and making connections

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This article describes an action research project which took place at the Johannesburg College of Education, South Africa in 1993 and 1994, a period of intense social and political change. By introducing a course on Critical Language Awareness, the researcher aimed to investigate the possibility of changing student teachers' ideas and practices in the teaching of reading comprehension. This attempt created conflict and unease among students in the classroom and also revealed how collisions’ between established literacy practices and newer approaches make transformation difficult to effect. Later, the use of action research strategies, involving continuing cycles of action and reflection and the introduction of participatory approaches to teaching and planning, enabled the researcher to bring about better connections’ between students themselves and their engagement with the theoretical and practical features of the course material.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication date: October 1, 1997

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