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'Nobody really knows': the structure and analysis of social constructivist whole class discussions


Sprod, TJ, 'Nobody really knows': the structure and analysis of social constructivist whole class discussions, International Journal of Science Education, 19, (8) pp. 911-924. ISSN 0950-0693 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/0950069970190805


Increasing recognition of the social aspects of constructivist learning has led to calls for the greater use of discussion in science classroom. Yet research on classroom discussion has shown that it is often not suitable for social constructivist aims. This paper presents a brief outline of a method of conducting appropriate social constructivist discussions, plus a model for the structure of open-ended thinking through such discussion, first advanced by David Perkins (1994), in which discussions are characterized as building a conception through the use of epistemic games under the control of a structured heap. It then outlines a method for the analysis and evaluation of these discussions, illustrated by excerpts from a classroom transcript. The methodology arose from a project to evaluate the processes of such discussion, and the impact on students' scientific reasoning, over a school year. Implications for researchers and curriculum planners are presented. © 1997 Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Learning sciences
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sprod, TJ (Dr Tim Sprod)
ID Code:12020
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Philosophy
Deposited On:1997-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-15

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