Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Teaching and Learning
Kathryn F. Whitmore
Renita R. Schmidt
This thesis addresses a series of disconcerting moments that emerged during a research study with seven fourth and fifth grade students who participated in an after-school Technology Think Tank and their classroom teachers at a Midwestern elementary school. These moments were marked by heightened power, identity performances, and emotions and were disturbing not only as they occurred, but remained bothersome upon reflection in the days and weeks afterwards. In this research I call them ‘haunting moments.'
The primary data sources for this research were audio and video files that I initially analyzed for volume. This process verified my premise that the haunting moments were linked to an increase in speaking volume that differentiated them from other discourse. Then I employed a two-fold coding approach including interpretive phenomenological analysis which generated a comprehensive list of codes including textual and social functions of technologies.
My analysis led to a pursuit for a framework for understanding the haunting moments in the Think Tank and classrooms. I contextualized them within a theoretical matrix which included the dialectical relationship of standardization and resistance and the inextricable role of power, identities, and emotions with that dialectic. Standardization was accomplished through mechanisms of control that I identified as discursive positioning and surveillance. These mechanisms were resisted by mechanisms of agency. I also described the important role of technology-- which mediated the mechanisms of control and agency that were used in the service of standardization and resistance.
Theorizing and framing haunting moments leads to a more complex understanding of literacy learning. This research describes how standardization and resistance, along with the emergence of moves of power, identities, and emotions are an inevitable outcome of participation in discourse communities, however this inescapability does not signify inevitability or preclude agency through improvisation or authorship.
Agency, Emotion, Identities, Literacy, Power, Technology
ix, 159 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 156-159).
Copyright 2012 Lindsay Nicole Laurich