In this classroom, teacher encouragement of resistance seems to have led to an increased vocalization of student awareness of oppression. The teachers' openness to resistance also seemed to result in a reduced occurrence of in-class challenging behaviours. This contrasted sharply with my former observation in a Vancouver ABE classroom, which I related in the Introduction and which served as a motivator for this study. In that case, a power struggle around enforcing standard English in a classroom of working class students escalated quickly and increased opposition, which spread throughout the class.
This study may be most useful in its implications for teaching in ABE classrooms. The results may encourage teachers to feel less threatened by resistance behaviours and indeed to experiment with valuing and encouraging student resistance. Teachers may attempt to promote especially verbal forms of resistance and to work to bring non-verbal, withdrawal resistance to conscious verbal statements of awareness and identity. For instance, following this study, Kit removed the isolated row seating in the classroom, in an attempt to reduce withdrawal resistance.
This study was both limited and enhanced by the ethnographic approach that I used. The limitations included the initial lack of a set theoretical framework, the broad focus and the inability to generalize to other contexts. Although I was initially interested in the difficulties of student accommodation in adult literacy programs, I did not have the framework of resistance theory or poststructuralist discourse theory to inform and guide this study from the outset.
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