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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Coaches, Gurus and Mentors

Anne Elizabeth Price.

In 1999, three mature age Malaysian Teacher Assistants from a remote and culturally diverse Australian school decided to enroll in a Bachelor of Education course at an Australian university.

The course required that they engage with a variety of academic and professional Discourses. These included external written texts such as course guides and readers, administrative forms and procedures, telephone conversations with tutors, summer school lectures and tutorials, practical teaching experiences, journals, essays and exams. Other less obvious Discourses were those in the workplace surrounding their transition from Teacher Assistant to teacher. These Discourses included such things as their access to school resources (desks, offices and photocopy paper) and their role in school meetings.

This paper examines the role that various mentors (including teachers, friends, family and significant others) played in enabling the Teacher Assistants to engage with these Discourses.

The paper is based broadly on a qualitative case study approach. Data was collected using a Grounded Research methodology developed by Glaser and Straus in the 1960s. Various Discourse analysis tools of inquiry borrowed and adapted from Gee were used to analyse the


Anne Elizabeth Price  (Australia)
Deputy Principal
District High School
Murdoch Univeristy

I am currently Deputy Principal at Christmas Island DHS, a remote and culturally diverse school situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In 1998, I completed a Masters Degree with Honours at Murdoch University. My research topic focused on the relative underachievement of a language minority group in the school, ending with a blue print for a range of pedagogical reforms. I am currently undertaking grounded research for my Doctorate in Education. My current research is a qualitative case study of three Teacher Assistants retraining to become teachers.

  • Discourses
  • Academic Discourse
  • Teacher Education
  • Mentoring
  • Cultural diversity

(30 min Conference Paper, English)