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Using attitude analysis to explore focused conversations for professional learning and development in early childhood


Nailon, DL and Thomas, DP and Emery, SG and Stephenson, EA, Using attitude analysis to explore focused conversations for professional learning and development in early childhood, Linguistics and language education in new horizons: The link between theory, research and pedagogy, Nova Science Publishers, S Fan, T Le & Q Le (ed), New York, pp. 43-59. ISBN 978-1-63482-800-0 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

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Since the introduction of a national early childhood curriculum guide in 2009, the early childhood sector in Australia has seen a significant increase in the provision of professional learning and development to raise the educative capacity of its workforce. This chapter examines an interactive approach to professional learning and development called focused conversations. Focused conversations are designed to facilitate content learning about topics of interest and generate inquiry into professional practice. In a recent study, focused conversations were used to facilitate a professional development program with a team of field coordinators in a family day care service. The coordination team members responded to questions spanning the four levels of focused conversation (Stanfield, 2000). Questions were designed to ascertain the facts about the problem/issue (the objective level), understand the emotional aspects associated with the issue (reflective level), consider the significance or implications related to the issue (interpretive level) and finally decide on a course of action to examine and address the issue with home-based educators (the decisional level). The attitude system from Systemic functional linguistics was used to analyse the conversation, showing that coordination team members moved from negative discussions about the topic to a more positive systems oriented approach to solving issues. Outcomes from the study consolidate the value of focused conversations within communities of practice. Implications for the use of Systemic functional linguistics to respond to interactive and transformative language oriented approaches to professional learning and development are proposed.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:professional learning, focused conversation, systemic functional linguistics, appraisal
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Pedagogy
UTAS Author:Nailon, DL (Ms Di Nailon)
UTAS Author:Thomas, DP (Dr Damon Thomas)
UTAS Author:Emery, SG (Dr Sherridan Emery)
UTAS Author:Stephenson, EA (Mrs Elspeth Stephenson)
ID Code:102615
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-09-01
Last Modified:2017-11-10

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