All the way with CDA: using critical discourse analysis to investigate the complexities of the classroom site

Dalley-Trim, Leanne (2005) All the way with CDA: using critical discourse analysis to investigate the complexities of the classroom site. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Critical Discourse Analysis: theory into research. pp. 128-138. From: International Conference on Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory into Research, 15 - 18 November 2005, Launceston, TAS, Australia.

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This paper explores critical discourse theories, in particular Fairclough’s three-dimensional model of discourse analysis, and highlights their role as an invaluable analytic tool within the field of educational research. It also signals the comparable view of language, discourse and subjectivity – as shared by many critical discourse theories and poststructuralism(s) – and suggests that these theoretical frameworks and associated analytical tools are in this way complementary. More specifically, the paper identifies the ways in which critical discourse theories provide an avenue for examining and unravelling the complex and multifarious site that is the classroom. Following discussion of the theoretical and analytical underpinnings and merits of critical discourse theories, the paper focuses upon the effective use of critical discourse theories in one classroom-based research project.

In line with the premise upon which the classroom-based study is founded, the paper advocates that classrooms are discursively constituted sites and that discourses, often competing and at times contradictory discourses, operate as organisers of social interactions within these sites. It also contends that classrooms, given that they are discursively constituted, are inextricably sites in which relations of power are produced and circulated, and in which individuals are positioned and/or take up particular subject positions. Further, the paper proposes that ‘the lesson’ – as constructed and as takes shape within the context of the classroom – is to be conceived of, and to thus be read, as a ‘text.’

Focusing upon the application of critical discourse analysis in the classroom-based study, this paper addresses a number of specific areas. It indicates how critical discourse analysis served as a tool that enabled the researcher to examine the discursive knowledges and practices employed by teachers and students within the classroom site. It also signals how critical discourse analysis enabled the researcher to read and account for the impact of the discourses operating within the classroom site upon what came to constitute the lesson and the classroom context. Further, it allowed for exploration of the power relations that were played out within the classroom and the subject positions made available to and taken up by those in the classroom.

Item ID: 7798
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-86295-296-6
Keywords: discourse analysis; discourse theory; gender; pedagogy; critical discourse analysis, classroom practice
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2010 23:22
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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