Regulating Discourse: Ways in Which Children With and Without Send Internalise The Evaluative Framework of Adults
This paper aims to offer a Bakhtinian analysis of the discourse of children with Special Educational Needs and Disorders (SEND) in two primary classes, as they talk about their own special learning needs and those of others. Moreover, it investigates how students without special educational needs’ peer evaluation, provides the context/background for the voices of children with special educational needs. The discourse data come from a longitudinal study of a primary school in the midlands of England. What was very interesting during the analysis of the data was the way in which pupils -in significant ways- used what Bakhtin describes as ‘hybrid constructions’ in their discourse; on many occasions, they simultaneously expressed adult values and their own in their talk about peers as they positioned themselves in relation to the institution and each other. This paper asks the question, “who is doing the talking?” in the voices which emerge in each of the representative extracts. The answer is never one person. It is both ‘this person’ and another institutional voice at the same time. It is argued that this is one of the ways in which institutional values are transmitted and internalised. The impact of the institutional practices on the students’ talk is identified. This analysis points to different pedagogic discourses which articulate the nature of the social relations between the teachers and the students and between the students themselves in their own dialogues and shows that positive and supportive inclusive environments are possible for students with and without special educational needs together, but involves implementing various positive practical strategies, and a belief system with notions of equity and personal development, as well as recognising difference.
Keywords— Discourse; SEND; Inclusion; Pedagogy.