Pimpa texten. En etnografisk studie av gymnasieelevers meningsskapande i dramatext
Sammanfattning: This ethnographic study is located in the field of literary didactics, covering an intersection of the subjects of Swedish and theatre. It investigates construction of text understanding while its participants work with staging Molière’s The affected ladies (Les précieuses ridicules, 1659). Studies of classroom interaction connected to reading drama text are rare in the Swedish field of literary didactics. The main research interest is the participants’ use of interwoven semiotic resources, including spoken language, body, voice and various artifacts. Based on a general need to understand how Swedish students develop reading skills (related to decreasing results internationally) and a growing research interest in the field for embodied knowledge connected to literacy competencies the study sets out to answer the following questions: How do the participants construct text understanding using semiotic resources with a focus on: a) matching of repertoires b) in-role re-presentation c) negotiations. The first aspect draws on theories used in literary didactics including McCormick’s (1994) literary and general repertoires and Langer’s (1995) envisioning literature. The second aspect draws on aesthetic learning and embodied knowledge (Molander, 1996; Saar, 2005) and theatre semiotics (Heed, 2002). The third aspect draws on sociocultural theory (Vygotskij, 1978; Säljö, 2014) and sociocultural theory applied in the field of drama and theatre (Davis, Clemson & Ferholt, 2015). Seven upper secondary school students, a teacher of Swedish and a teacher of theatre were observed over a period of seven months, starting with the students’ first encounter with the drama text, lasting to the final performance of a one-hour theatre production. The researcher occasionally became participant in the creative process. Analyzed data include field notes, video and sound recordings. Major findings are that: a) Students continuously match their own repertoires with the repertoires of the drama text by references to popular culture, language and body expressions, thereby gradually constructing new understanding. b) By becoming co-creators of a fictional text in a process of aesthetic learning the students developed several perspectives on the literary text, which is one of the main goals in studies of literature in the subject of Swedish. c) The participants’ negotiations involving a number of semiotic resources showed a development of text understanding on an advanced level. It also showed knowing as something emerging out of social interaction where teachers play an essential role by providing aesthetic as well as traditional scaffolding. A central conclusion is that exploring ways of learning where various semiotic recourses are given focus in the process of shaping a final product, e.g. a theatre show, host potential for students’ development of text understanding. The potential for learning seems to relate to producing knowledge rather than reproducing. Verbal and physical expressions of text understanding form new understanding in an on-going spiral. A contribution of the study to the field is showing the potential of embodied knowledge in literary didactics without a master-servant relationship between school subjects. It is suggested that increased focus on embodied knowledge and aesthetic learning might help students to develop reading skills. KEYWORDS: Aesthetic learning, drama text, literary didactics, semiotic resources, theatre education, text understanding and upper secondary school.
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