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Teaching student teachers to conduct instructional discussions in the classroom Glassner, A. , Cohen (Sayag), E. , Nathan, N. , & Vardi-Rath, E. Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel The 35 th ATEE Conference Budapest, 26 August, 2010
Discussion-Based Teaching • “Classroom discourse refers to any and to all verbal interchanges. ” • “Discussion – Based Teaching involves the systemic use of discussion to accomplish curricular objectives. ” (Henning, 2008)
What do we know about teacher education programs in this field? • In Israel there are no extensive acts or programs attending to promote student teachers skills in discussion-based teaching. • “Teachers rarely give systematic instruction on how to conduct a discussion” (Henning, 2008, p. 4)
What kind of discussion pattern is common among teachers? IRE - Initiation, Response and Evaluation (Sinclair and Coulthard, 1975) Teacher: What kind of ships do the Vikings used? Students: Longboats Teacher: Well done Instead – IDRE: Initiation – Discussion - Response - Evaluation (Wegerif, 2002)
What are our fundamental premises in this study? 1. Discussion will promote higher levels of reasoning (Beck and Me. Keown, 2009) 2. Knowledge construction occurs by dialogue 3. Deep comprehension can be achieved by discussion with others (Chi et al. , 2001; Lund, 2004; Wegerif, 2002)
What do we want to explore? • Can we promote experienced and inexperienced teachers' skills to conduct class discussion? • What will be the nature of the changes as a result of the participation in one academic course?
The course teaching model 1. Modeling and analyzing three types of discourse objectives T 1 -Presenting and expansion of Knowledge divergent discussion T 2 - Enquiry of knowledge from texts T 3 - Argumentations And Justification of acts and ideas convergent discussion critical thinking 2. Experiencing Discussions with colleagues during the course 3. Learning to document and analyze classroom discourse and its navigation
Method Two yearly courses 2008 -2010 using action research. Research Tools: • Drawing a concept map and writing an explanation to the concept of a good classroom discussion. • Documentation of two (pre & post) discussions with a small group (5 -6 pupils; 15 min). The discussions were conducted by each student.
The course participants 25 students with pre & post documented discussions: • 12 experienced teachers and 13 inexperienced teachers • 17 FL Hebrew speaker and 8 SL Hebrew speaker (Arabs Bedouin)
Data analysis 71 categories of discourse acts in 7 facets: 1. IN - Initiation of teacher talk 2. FE - Giving feedback 3. TT - Turn Taking 4. TQ – Teachers’ questions 5. PR - Postponement of teachers' reactions 6. CM/ RM - Focus on class rules or content 7. MM - Meta-pragmatics comments Analyzed by: CHILDES by the CLAN computer based and SPSS analysis program.
Questions in classroom discussions:
What do we know about questioning during classroom instruction? 1. Teachers today ask between 300 -400 questions each day (Leven and Long, 1981). 2. Teachers spend most of their time asking low-level cognitive questions (Wilen, 1991). 3. Asking high level questions does not guarantee high level answers, but low level questions ensure to elicit low level responses (Henning, 2008, p. 43)
Why Asking Questions in the class? 1. Questioning helps teachers to keep their students actively involved. 2. Questioning students gives them an opportunity to openly express ideas and thoughts. 3. Questioning students enables other students to hear a different point of view. 4. Asking questions helps teachers pace their lessons. 5. Questioning students helps teachers evaluate student learning. (Morgan and Saxton, 1991) Questions could be “both engines and outcomes of learning” (Ritchhart, Tishman, and Perkins 2000).
What are the characteristics of good questions? • Encourage creative thinking What will be your own ending to this story? • Direct students to analyze and synthesize knowledge What are the main ideas of the story? • Ask for expanding knowledge What is your associations to the title of the story? • Encourage critical thinking What is your own opinion about the conflict in the story? Why do you think so? • Ask students to reshape their point of view Could you say it was a moral act? Why?
How do teachers navigate the discussion? The categories of the questions we found and used for coding : Test Question Intent to test or identify the knowledge of the pupils. The teacher knows the answer to the question. Open Planned The question is part of the lesson planning scenario such as: “what did you say? " A question that does not have one definite answer, but actually several answers different from and even contradictory to each other (Harpaz, 2006) Real Close The question is given as a response to pupils utterances The teacher really doesn’t know the answers. The answer suggested one true answer. such as yes/no What do you mean? How do you know it? What is the name of such process? Technical Question What do you think about this? How can we keep our water? Response (Nystrand, 2003)
What changes do we expected at the post discussion ? Increase of : Number of questions ; Number of real questions; Number of open questions Number of response questions
Quantitative Findings • A significant difference was found in the quantity of the open questions. (t(1, 20)=2. 13; p=. 045) • The teachers asked more open questions at the post discussion- (M= 34; SD=24) than at the pre discussion(M=24; SD=13. 5). • Same tendencies was found for real questions and for response questions (not significant effects- high SD in the post)
v Significant difference was found between planned questions and response questions in pre discussions [t(1, 17)=2. 15; p=. 046] Planned- M= 20. 6; SD=11. 2 Response-M=14. 2; SD=6. 2 PLANNED>RESPONSE No significant difference was found in the post discussions Planned- M=25. 5; SD=20. 1 Response- M=24. 4; SD=25. 9 v PLANNED~RESPONSE
CORRELATION BETWEEN REAL QUESTIONS AND RESPONSE QUESTIONS No correlation was found between real question and response question at the pre discussion (r=0. 05; p= 0. 83) Significant correlation was found at the post discussions (r= 0. 71; p=0. 00)
Pre Case study Post Opening questions: 1. Who has any idea what drought is? 1. Who knows what organic fertilizer is? 2. What does it remind you of? 3. What words are connected to it? 4. When you say drought year what do mean? The Discussion: aiming to understand the differences between two kinds of garbage. The Discussion: aiming to understand the problem of water shortage and the solutions for it. 1. From what garbage can we make organic fertilizer? - (asking for recall of knowledge) 1. What if, What will happen without water? (asking for “what if” question) 2. Where can we find organic fertilizer? (asking for recall of knowledge) 2. Why is it important? - (asking for understanding of the problem) 3. What more can you say about the different kinds of garbage? (asking for recall of knowledge and analyzing it) 3. How can we save water? - (asking for creative ideas) 4. How can we keep our water? (asking for creative ideas) 5. What is the difference between sea water and drinking water? (asking for analyzing knowledge) 6. What kind of water do we have in the sea? (asking for recall of knowledge)
What do we have? A. students teachers were encouraged to change the patterns of their questions asking during the navigation of discussion - based teaching. B. Following the course, some of the participants Increased the relative number of their open questions and the relative number of their response questions. C. Still we expected the teachers to produce more real and response questions.
What should we do? (future perspective): • To invite more intensive practice • To increase the sample • To design the coding criteria we used in the study in order to construct more holistic model • To design new creative activities • To teach the teachers how to encourage their pupils to ask good questions • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=5 thpd. EEE-DE