Discourse Analysis of (Power) Struggles in the Classroom

Confessions of a School Teacher

  • Camila Oppelt UNISINOS/Faculdade João Paulo II


Perceptions about the relationship between teacher and student refer to the confidence, motivation and interest of the students, and to the expectations and attitudes of the teachers. With the aim of arousing and encouraging discussions about these aspects that can, eventually, improve the relationship between teachers and students through the study of a teacher’s perceptions about this relationship, this article was carried out in the light of Critical Discourse Analysis and studies focusing on teachers’ expectations. The corpus – answers to a questionnaire applied to a high school teacher at a San Diego/CA suburban school – was submitted to the analysis of the author’s position regarding her role as teacher. The willingness to engage in a good relationship with students was present in the corpus as expected. However, there were a few unexpected occurrences: predominantly dominant attitude about problem solving, heterogeneity in the division of responsibilities, and explicit citation of power struggle in the classroom.