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Thesis Details
TitleRelative truths regarding children’s learning difficulties in a Queensland regional primary school: Adult stakeholders’ positions
AuthorArizmendi, Wayne Clinton
InstitutionCentral Queensland University
AbstractThis study explored the discursive subject positions that 18 parents, teachers and administrators involved with children identified as experiencing learning difficulties in a Queensland regional primary school between September 2003 and August 2004 drew upon to explain the causes of those children’s learning difficulties. The study used a post-structuralist adaptation of positioning theory and social constructionism and a discourse analytic method to analyse relevant policy documents and participants’ semi-structured interview transcripts to interrogate what models were being used to explain a student's inability to access the curriculum. Despite the existence of alternative explanatory frameworks that functioned as relatively undeveloped resistant counternarratives, the study demonstrated the medical model’s overwhelming dominance in both Education Queensland policy statements and the participants’ subject positions. This dominance shapes and informs the adult stakeholders’ subjectivities and renders the child docile and potentially irrational.
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