L-SIDER (Laboratory for the Study of Interaction and Discourse In Educational Research)

At L-SIDER we study the relationship between micro-contexts of interaction and broader socio-historical processes.

L-SIDER researchers have been developing theoretical and methodological frameworks for understanding the multiple ways language is used in the classrooms and across educational settings, including the home. We draw from a variety of approaches, including educational, sociological, and anthropological perspectives to examine multiple contexts for learning and instruction.

Classroom Discourse

Archeologies of the classroom: Language and interaction at the intersection of race, class, and gender

Classrooms are the preeminent sites of formal learning and their complex nature produces interactions that can be important catalysts for academic success or failure. The complexity of classrooms arises from classroom participants’ orientation to tasks and goals, the power dynamics inherent in the highly structured nature of learning in schools, and the perceptions that students and teachers have of each other, especially perceptions around the categories of class, race, and gender. For this reason, attention to how classroom participants relate to each other through talk and interaction is a step towards understanding how talk matters in schools and how it structures learning opportunities. The production of talk, registers, languages and classroom dialects is a rich resource for learning and can be incorporated in instruction. L-SIDER researchers are also interested in understanding how broader discourses about language use are influenced by beliefs about languages and their speakers, and in turn how they generate language policy.

Diasporas and Education

Transnationalisms and the circulation of knowledge

This research strand engages the study of processes of migration and the learning opportunities they afford for youth and adults in schools, community centers, churches, the home, and other social institutions. L-SIDER researchers working in this research strand consider the ways knowledge circulates and is understood across migratory contexts, taking into account theories of development and migration, as well as histories of colonial expansion and modernity. Other concerns addressed in this research strand include questions of citizenship and civic engagement in diaspora.

Language Socialization and Education

Socialization to and through language

Through long-term, ethnographic, and discourse analytic studies L-SIDER researchers examine a range of socialization practices from reproductive to transformative in the language of routine interactions in educational contexts. Ever since the first programmatic statement on the principles of language socialization research was outlined more than twenty years ago (Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986), there has been a sustained interest in further developing disciplinary areas of the language socialization paradigm and which overlap with socio-cultural theories of learning in education. L-SIDER researchers have been writing about this overlap and on the status of language socialization research in anthropology and in the field of education.

Parent Involvement in Schools

Decolonial approaches to the discourse and practice of parental involvement

L-SIDER researchers are concerned with equity issues raised by many approaches to parental involvement in schools. Their work addresses the persistent framings that restrict roles for parents in school, and particularly for parents from non-dominant groups. These scholars’ research examines the ways the design of parent involvement programs also intersects with race, class, and immigration statuses of the participants in these programs. Their research problematizes notions of “empowerment” and advances approaches situated in a broader decolonial struggle for transformative praxis.

Courses at the Graduate School of Education

EDUC 298B: Research Group on Discourse and Education
Patricia Baquedano-López
Fall and Spring

This weekly research group serves as a forum to critically examine readings and ongoing work addressing the relationship between discourse and society, discourse and power, discourses about learning, classroom language and literacy practices, and forms of cultural/discursive production knowledge in educational/community settings. These themes are addressed through the analysis of written texts (such as curricula, school mission statements, educational policies, and educational/political speeches), narratives, interview excerpts, data from participant observation in schools, homes, and other educational settings. The main goal of the research group is to serve the needs of its members. As such, there are opportunities for group participants to bring readings related to their work, bring their own data (video, audio, or texts) for group analysis, or share writing in progress. Group members receive feedback on qualifying oral examination lists, dissertation proposals, or grant proposals. Members at the dissertation level share drafts of chapters from their dissertation. The group also serves as a forum to rehearse presentations for conferences or job talks.

Ed 241D: Perspectives on Classroom Discourse
(Baquedano-López or Sterponi)

This course is designed to provide opportunities to observe and analyze classroom talk and interaction. The seminar meetings and readings are organized in ways that allow participants to collectively discuss and work on classroom data by discussing options for transcription, analysis, and representation of classroom interaction and participants. Thus a great deal of time is devoted to working on data in and outside the weekly seminars. Seminar participants conduct observations in classrooms and obtain permission to record one class activity, lesson, or instructional period. This course prepares seminar participants to do analyses of classroom discourse and to relate these analyses to the broader context and promise of education in schools. The course surveys foundational literature on classroom discourse and explores new orientations to the study of classroom talk. The course also engages the relationship between discourse and literacy and the tools that mediate this relationship, for example, language use, textbooks, expectations about students and teachers, and the actions of teachers and students during lessons. The course draws primarily from interrelated disciplinary perspectives that include linguistics, language socialization, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, ethnomethodology, and the ethnography of speaking.

Principal Investigator: