Facilitating Narratives of Memories in Classroom Interactions

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Claudio BARALDI, Studies on Language and Culture, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
This presentation is based on the analysis of interactions that were video-recorded during 24 meetings in 8 multicultural fourth, fifth and sixth grade classrooms . These meetings were part of an Italian project aiming to: collect private photos regarding children’s memories, with teachers and parents’ support ; use these photos to facilitate the production of  shared narratives of children’s memories in classroom interactions; store photos for future use in schools. The classroom interactions were facilitated by an expert. The interactions were video-recorded and transcribed to analyze children’s ways of participating, the production of narratives of memories, and facilitation techniques. The analysis is based on four basic concepts. First, memory is a social construction in communication processes. Second, this construction is visible in personal and collective narratives. Third, experts’ facilitation can effectively promote narratives in dialogic interactions with and among children. Fourth, understanding of interactions and narratives in multicultural classrooms requires a non-essentialist approach to cultural differences. Against this background, the video-recorded interactions  have been analyzed with particular attention to : (1) the ways in which, describing their photos, children produce narratives concerning themselves, their families and their contexts; (2) the variety of facilitation techniques, including  questions, minimal responses, repetitions, and different types of formulation; (3) the effects of these techniques on the interactional production  of new, more complex narratives, following the initial one; (4) the ways in which narratives highlight children’s personal, social and cultural identities. In particular, this presentation focuses on the ways of transforming children’s personal narratives into new, more articulate interactional narratives involving the facilitator and other children. This analysis offers an opportunity to understand how, in educational contexts, the use of images (in particular, photos) and dialogic forms of communication can support each other in giving meaning to children’s narratives, memories and identities.