May I Have Your Attention Please. Morning Announcements: Using Discourse Analysis to Investigate an Everyday School Experience

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Cunningham, Rebecca
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This thesis examines the discourse used during morning announcements by elementary principals at three separate schools in the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). Using the theoretical frameworks of institutional ethnography and discourse analysis, this data is analyzed to examine whether principals use morning announcements primarily as an information sharing exercise or they use announcements to serve other purposes as well. My analysis of the data concludes that principals not only use morning announcements to share information and manage the day-to-day business of running a school. Principals also use morning announcements create for themselves (either consciously or unconsciously) what I call a "principal" identity. Thematic and structural analysis is used to analyze the data in order to better understand a common structure of delivery evident in all three schools. This serves to underscore the concept of ruling relations; a notion used by institutional ethnographers to demonstrate how everyday experiences within institutions are mediated by an internally coordinated complex of administrative, managerial and discursive organization that often remain hidden. Thematic analysis is also used to highlight key themes within the content of the announcements. Three key themes of Safety/Rules, Personal Connections and Spiritual Education are examined. This study uses discourse analysis to reflect on how language does the work of several building tasks; those of identity, relationship and politics are the most relevant to this analysis. The findings are helpful in giving a better understanding of the often-overlooked everyday practice of delivering morning announcements in elementary schools. Principals are encouraged to consider how this practice offers them an important opportunity to connect with students and demonstrate positive models of leadership.
Communication in education -- Evaluation , Elementary school principals -- Identity , Elementary school administration -- Evaluation , Toronto Catholic District School Board