Making Talk Work: Exploring the Teaching of Collaborative Talk
Newman, Ruth Malka Charlotte
Date: 18 February 2014
University of Exeter
PhD in Education
This thesis is the outcome of a PhD CASE Studentship funded by the ESRC and British Telecom. It presents an exploration into the teaching of collaborative talk. The study was conducted in three phases: exploratory, development and implementation. During the exploratory phase, observations and interviews were conducted in authentic ...
This thesis is the outcome of a PhD CASE Studentship funded by the ESRC and British Telecom. It presents an exploration into the teaching of collaborative talk. The study was conducted in three phases: exploratory, development and implementation. During the exploratory phase, observations and interviews were conducted in authentic workplace settings to gain an understanding of workplace collaboration and collaborative talk. During the development phase, a teaching unit for the teaching of collaborative talk at GCSE was devised, informed by understandings gleaned during the preceding phase. During the implementation phase, the teaching unit was taught by two teachers in their secondary English classrooms. Both participating classes were arranged into groups of 4: 8 groups in School 1 and 7 in School 2. For the duration of the 3 week teaching unit, groups were recorded via camera and audio recorder, and the data later synchronised. Both teachers wore an audio recorder to capture interactions with groups and the whole class. To complement the core data set, students were interviewed for their views on their learning. Student booklets provided a means of collecting both group and individual reflections and evaluative comments. The data was analysed to explore the development of students’ collaborative talk. The role of the teacher in implementing the teaching unit and supporting students’ development was also examined. The findings provide an insight into the realities of implementing successful collaborative talk in the ‘real’ secondary classroom. It contributes to conceptualisations of collaborative talk and its development. It makes links between the role of emotional engagement and dialogic interactions in supporting that development. It proposes teaching strategies which challenge perceived notions of ‘good’ talk and encourages the development of meta-language to support self-evaluation and the development of collaborative talk.
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