Your posting straddles two threads--Dialogic Pedagogy and coding. Let me see if I can do the same thing!
There was a wonderful article by Alessandro Duranti on transcription in MCA a while back (Vol. 13 No. 4) where he points out that transcription IS coding. When you transcribe, you begin by making one of two assumptions, which Duranti calls "virtual realism" on the one hand and "hypercontextualism" on the other.
Virtual realists are like children who think that sites on the internet are places they can actually visit. They talk to their transcripts as if the people in them were real. They look at transcripts and ask themselves which students are more logical and which students are less, and they try to figure out how the less logical students can be more like the more logical ones.
Hypercontextualists are like escapees from Plato's cave. They are always saying "Yes, but it's more complicated than that" but they are not particularly good at saying why or why it matters. Duranti points out that there is a good reason for that: they imagine that there is an Edenic unmediated reality lying just beyond the horizon of the transcript to which the participants once had direct access. The task, by its very nature Sisyphean, is to try to reconstruct that unmediated reality and to hell with coding.
Duranti's conclusion is that we have to give up the illusion that in transcribing we are recording what went on (and, I would hasten to add, that in coding we are evaluating and comparing what went on with some kind of norm). Now, my reasoning is a little different from Duranti's (it has to do with the distinction between "text" which is finished and complete and somehow "epic", locked in the past, and "discourse" which is ongoing and by its very nature not finalizable), but as far as I can tell my conclusions are the same.
Duranti says that you have to treat a particular transcript and a particular coding scheme as a particular point of view, and not as a picture of unmediated reality. The object of study then becomes the point of view and not the picture of unmediated reality. So I guess Duranti would say that the way to look at the data is to ask the student to (who is presumably the teacher) to find a MOST logical argument and a SECOND MOST logical argument (or something like that) and then maybe a LEAST logical argument and then to try to figure out what the two "logical" arguments have in common that the not-so-logical argument doesn't.
That doesn't give you a coding scheme for the transcript. It's actually better, particularly for a student working under a professor like David Kirshner, whose main interest is always teasing apart the various threads of pedagogical thought in a given teacher. It gives you a coding scheme for understanding the teacher's point of view.
Now, the reason I think this straddles both threads is that I find Duranti's article an almost perfect example of the kind of thing I would like to publish and yet I find almost impossible to publish. For many years this didn't bother me, because I didn't have to publish to keep my (extremely low paid) job, so I just wrote what I liked and didn't take much notice of the (increasingly hysterical) rejections that came in. But now, alas, I am in the position of most assistant professors; if I don't publish at least once a year, I will find myself without contract in my dotage. I guess that's the sad part of the situation, but who has time to cry about it?
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
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