How teachers and students work together through discourse to construct their understanding of the context they live and work in will influence, in many different ways, the interaction within their classrooms. This book describes an indepth research that used ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to study three different groups of teachers. The study highlights the teachers’ perspectives concerning heterogeneity in the classroom, using recordings of discussions concerning cultural and linguistic diversity.
Moreover, this research examines the discourse participants’ choice in the use (deployment) of categorical descriptions and reveals the speaker as positioned, interested and accountable for meaning construction. Thus, «portraits» of differing preservice and inservice teachers’ orientation towards linguistic and cultural diversity are analysed. By recognising these categorizations as partially bounded by previous knowledge and partially constructed in situ, the research sees meaning-making by teachers as a part of their lived work of teaching. It also reveals the social nature of these categorizations because they are an inseparable element of the socially constituted fabric of language in the environment of schooling and society.