Group discussion and the importance of a shared perspective: learning from collaborative research.

Corden, R., 2001. Group discussion and the importance of a shared perspective: learning from collaborative research. Qualitative Research, 1 (3), pp. 347-367. ISSN 1468-7941

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Student-led discussion during small group work is now a familiar feature in many schools. However, simply organising students in small groups does not mean they will automatically participate in collaborative discussion. In this article I report on a small-scale research project in the UK which examined the discourse patterns of Year 8 (13-14 year old students) as they worked in discussion groups during English lessons. Using a multi-case study approach, video recordings were made in four high schools over a one-year period and qualitative analysis was undertaken. For illustrative purposes I focus on two transcripts which are representative of discussions from a full range of 40 video recordings and illustrate common and recurrent patterns of discourse. The findings suggest that students' interpretations of tasks are influenced by an orthodox perception of teaching and learning which emphasises independent and individualised working practices in schools. The importance of explicit and unambiguous teacher guidance is highlighted, and the apparent paradox of encouraging critical and open discussion of texts within a structured framework is examined.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Qualitative Research
Creators: Corden, R.
Publisher: Sage Publications
Date: 2001
Volume: 1
Number: 3
ISSN: 1468-7941
Rights: Copyright 2001 by Sage Publications. All rights reserved. No portion of the contents may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:49
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 14:37

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