Variation in storytelling style amongst New Zealand schoolchildren
The relationship between emergent narrative skills, gender and ethnicity continues to be an important area of debate, with significant socio-political consequences. This paper explores the ways in which these variables intersect in a cross-cultural, longitudinal study of children’s storytelling, focusing on data taken from a multicultural school in Auckland, NZ. Differences in storytelling style reflected the characteristics of Maori English and Pakeha English conversational narratives, but also varied according to age and gender, where the variation was most marked for the 10-year-old children, and was most polarised between the narratives of the Pakeha girls and Maori boys. A longitudinal comparison indicated that these differences were by no means fixed, and that over time the older Maori boys’ storytelling altered in line with the literacy demands to conform to the dominant westernised pattern being imposed in this pedagogic context. This study thus points to the ongoing importance of analysing the shifting ways in which gender and cultural identity are renegotiated in educational contexts, suggesting that there is more scope for questioning and potentially changing dominant literacy practices in this part of New Zealand.
Published online: 15 August 2008
Cited by 2 other publications
Alkaaf, Fatma & Ali Al-Bulushi
Quasthoff, Uta & Juliane Stude
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