Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Our new publication on schoolscape research

With my colleague Petteri Laihonen, we have just published a paper on schoolscape research, focusing on language ideologies and organizational cultures in different sociocultural settings:

Laihonen, P. & T. P. Szabó 2017. Investigating visual practices in educational settings: schoolscapes, language ideologies and organizational cultures. In: M. Martin-Jones & D. Martin (eds.), Researching multilingualism: Critical and ethnographic approaches. Routledge, pp. 121–138.

Book cover from the publisher's website
In our introduction we summarized the aims of the paper as follows:

In our chapter, we provide an overview of approaches to the study of linguistic landscapes and semiotic practices in educational settings, taking account of both theory and method. We also illustrate this area of research with reference to schoolscapes in Eastern Europe. The field of linguistic landscape studies has various roots and methodological traditions. In this account we mainly deal with schoolscapes, and we discuss research that focuses on schools, their classrooms, their foyers and on activities taking place within school walls.  
We consider the investigation of schoolscapes to be relevant to research into the visual socialization of children, into the ways in which they are oriented to visual literacy and into the visual literacy practices of both children and adults. That is, we view visual literacy not only as the ability to interpret visual signs, but also as a social practice – one in which teachers and students exercise agency in engaging in visual communication in educational settings. We also focus on language ideologies reflected in schoolscapes. We argue that, like classroom interaction and other educational practices, schoolscapes can also be analyzed as displays or materialization of the ‘hidden curriculum’ regarding language values.

The paper got published in a very exciting volume which is worth reading. Further information can be found on the publishers' website.

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