Part of the School of Education Research Seminar Series.
What styles of reasoning are important in primary English?
Dr Michaela Oliver, Assistant Professor in the School of Education
The importance of teaching reasoning in schools is widely recognised. Yet this has presented teachers with difficulties, particularly in primary education. Difficulties partially stem from a lack of cohesive theory about reasoning for education and a lack of specificity about it in the English National Curriculum. One route to improved teaching of reasoning is through recognition of the importance and prevalence of discipline-specific practices. This presentation draws on socio-cultural theory and disciplinary literacy research to argue that some reasoning practices are discipline specific. The theoretical lens of reasoning styles is adopted. English represents a curriculum area that is currently poorly understood in terms of its prevalent reasoning practices. In this project, a framework of reasoning styles important in primary English has been developed. Examples of student engagement with these reasoning styles are provided. The framework and accompanying examples will help teachers to support the development of student reasoning, particularly in the subject of English. Developing students’ meta-awareness of patterns of language use is beneficial. Development may also support students to become fuller members of the English academic community.