Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractThis article explores narrative discourse in the classroom as individual and social meaning construction. Drawing largely on the work of Bakhtin—in particular, his theory of consciousness as a dialogic "boundary phenomenon"—the article positions classroom narrative discourses as co-constructions of meaning. The primary goal of the article is methodological in that it articulates how one might go about studying narratives as neither "inside" the individual nor "out there" in culture. A set of focusing questions are developed for exploring narratives in the classroom. Four focusing questions explore such aspects of narrative discourses as the sociocognitive history of activity settings, the moment-to-moment enactment of meaning, the individual child's reconstruction of meaning (his or her "internalization" of discourses), and developmental changes that occur in how children construct meaning from within textual contexts. These four questions are then applied to a case study of one child's classroom narrative discourses. This study of one first-grader serves as an exemplar of how such overlapping forms of textual inquiry could be applied to a developmental study of children's classroom discourse and learning. Last, issues of a societal-ethical nature are discussed as an important dimension of the theoretical and methodological positioning of narrative as a boundary phenomenon. (Classroom Discourse; Education)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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