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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Oracy…Deep or Shallow Pedagogy?

Watson, Karen (2020) Oracy…Deep or Shallow Pedagogy? Masters thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)


This thesis presents an in-depth qualitative case study that explores oracy practices in a primary school setting in England. The research population includes several stakeholder members of the same primary school community. Models of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which aim to deepen teachers’ professional learning in relation to oracy practices are compared and discussed in some depth. The research interventions employed in the study include the introduction a number of oracy techniques implemented using the democratic and collaborative principles of Joint Practice Development (JPD), (Fielding et al., 2005).
As this research is a study of experience, the experiences of the researcher as well as the experiences of others in the research population, the ontological starting point of the thesis is constructivist. Here reality is regarded as being neither objective nor singular, but that multiple realities are constructed by individuals. The thesis therefore adopts and interpretivist epistemology which rejects positivist epistemic positions which regard direct knowledge of the world as possible, in favour of an interpretivist position where it is accounts and observations of the world that provide indirect indications of phenomena and thus knowledge is developed through a process of interpretation. In view of the above, the aim of the research is not to seek objectivity, but to pursue a sense of authenticity and trustworthiness in interpreting and reporting of the findings of this study.
Data sets collected in the research process are analysed and interrogated using thematic analysis. The thesis is underpinned by the work of Cambourne (1999), who links brain-based research, conditions for literacy learning, and the impact of the classroom environment upon pedagogy and practice. The research is therefore grounded in a theoretical framework, rooted in sociocultural approaches to educational practice, combined with a clear commitment to upholding moral dimensions of education. Two propositions are investigated in this thesis. The first is that oracy and pedagogy are inextricably linked, and that oracy is a democratic pedagogy. The second is that government policy initiatives must be carefully formulated and supported at implementation stage as their impact upon educational practice is not insignificant. Perceived tensions between policy and practice in the teaching of oracy are explored within the confines of this research. The study draws attention to how incoherent government policy regarding oracy is leading to confusion and mixed messages surrounding good practice in the teaching of oracy. Findings of the research reveal how government policy has had a great influence on the pedagogy of oracy in primary education. It is argued therefore, there is a need to ensure that such policies are clear, research-informed and coherent. In addition, the study finds that teachers require appropriate professional development opportunities in the contexts of their practice throughout their careers to, encourage their professional learning, ensure the policy is implemented well in practice and in order to enhance the development of deep professional learning and good pedagogical practice in relation to the teaching of oracy in primary education in England.

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Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 13462

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Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 12:36
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 12:45


Author: Karen Watson

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