Article published in:Dialogue in institutional settings
Edited by Franca Orletti and Letizia Caronia
[Language and Dialogue 9:1] 2019
► pp. 125–148
Assessing a (gifted) child in parent-teacher conference
Participants’ resources to pursue (and resist) a no-problem trajectory
Delivering and acknowledging assessments are the most recurrent institutional activities occurring in parent-teacher conference. This paper reports data from a mother-teacher conference concerning a gifted child. We show how participants’ practices to accomplish and receive assessment in the report-assessment phase of the event: (a) display their relative epistemic and deontic rights, (b) are oriented to participants’ institutional relevant identities, and (c) project or even enact different and quite opposite assessment trajectories. We contend that struggles in assessing the child display participants’ different stances: teachers’ ‘normalizing’ and ‘group oriented’ trajectory vs. the mother’s orientation toward ‘doctorability’ and pressure for individualized treatment. Although typically occurring between routine-case oriented institutions vs. idiosyncratic-case oriented clients, such a struggle displays also the ‘paradoxical injunctions’ that frame teachers’ everyday work: adopting a ‘group-oriented’ perspective while at the same time being accountable for an individualized approach.
Keywords: assessment trajectories, conversation analysis, deontic rights, epistemics, institutional cautiousness, knowledge management, mitigation, parent-teacher conference
Published online: 05 July 2019
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Cited by 1 other publications
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