“Yeah, yeah, keep going!”: What is revealed about students’ reading competence, identity and agency when critical sociocultural analysis is used to understand classroom picturebook conversations

Sue Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    When researching reading events, the depth to which we understand the student experience is all-important. Much insight has come from exploring sociocultural understandings, yet by focusing upon how the critical sociocultural dynamics of identity, agency and power relationships are mediated, we can understand differently the moment-to-moment negotiations undertaken. This article reports on a study that investigated how small groups of diverse students aged ten and eleven from two Melbourne schools experienced talk around two picturebooks that prompt thinking around important social issues. Some often surprising insights were revealed around shifts in student identity portrayals, degrees of agency and individual students’ abilities to take some control in this, as well as how these negotiations can be beneficial yet somewhat unsettling at times. The article also shows that these shifts and negotiations can be both challenging and potentially rewarding for students as well as the teacher.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages17
    JournalEnglish in Education
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • agency
    • book talk
    • classroom Discourse
    • Identity work
    • picturebooks

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