A linguistic analysis of student messages and signs around school premises.

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Submission Summary

The aim of the presentation is to bring to the foreground the messages students want to put forward. After gathering and intepreting them several conclusions on school culture and socioeconomic factors will be presented and discussed.

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Abstract :

Linguistic analysis of student messages is often marginalized in educational research and has not been employed to collect information about cultural identities of the school and its effect on the students. The aim of this presentation is to use visual methods to collect student messages around the school premises and then analyse them in order to understand the culture of schools and how these images/ messages are perceived and processed by high school students in Greece. It reports on a participative research project in 7 secondary schools in Greece from distinctively different cultural and economic backgrounds. The strategy of research applied in this study is grounded theory and the qualitative methods of research are: structured interviews (4 interviews done and transcribed during one month), scaled questionnaires were distributed (80 done during one month and transcribed) and photography (800 photos done during one month and described) and repeated visits in schools. Also, methods of langage analysis are employed. There were at least 80 students involved at the project during one month. Moreover this presentation draws on content analysis as a systematic, rigorous approach to analyzing documents obtained or generated in the course of research. Finally the presentation will conclude that these approaches provide a comprehensive view of how visual images/messages are produced and interpreted, and of what their potential social consequences may be. The use of visual methods is not without challenges however. Securing ethics approval and school participation along with problems with camera retrieval and protecting participant agency were some difficulties encountered in the current study. For those wishing to pursue less conventional research methodologies in educational settings, this presentation will also highlight potential benefits and struggles.

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National and Techincal University of Athens
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