Coordinator: Prof. Sugra Chunawala
Virtual Classroom Platform [HBCSE Webinar]
This study is aimed at understanding the nature and dynamics of middle school students’ questioning process and its role in learning and doing science. For this we have observed and recorded students in classroom and out-of-classroom contexts. Using the conversation analysis methods, we transcribed and analysed teacher-student, student-student, student-stuff interactions to understand the process of questioning in the two contexts.
We found that in comparison to classroom contexts, students talked and asked much more in the informal contexts. In the classroom discourse, dominated and driven by the teacher or textbook questioning, students hardly had agency to meaningfully participate and engage in the discourse. In contrast we found that in the informal contexts students had agency in matters like, initiating sequences of talk, content of talk, turn-taking, use of language, exploring stuff, etc. Furthermore, we found that student questioning in informal contexts evolved and progressed due to various kinds of conflicts and disagreements. Also, we observed that in the informal contexts students spontaneously engaged in various aspects of scientific inquiry like questioning, observing, arguing, investigating, etc. which were all interdependent. We discuss, how, bringing certain aspects of everyday discourse is important for creating more equitable and democratic classrooms where student questioning gets a central place.
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