The classroom as text: Collaborative construction of subject matter content
AuthorBatchelder, Ann Gardner.
KeywordsEducational research and practice.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to document the construction of subject matter content through the description of daily lesson activities that occurred in two eighth grade Civics classes. Utilizing daily observations, field notes, audio-tapes, and interviews to collect data, this study focuses on how students and teachers work collaboratively during activities in order to construct a "text" of the subject matter of lessons. The metaphor of classroom as text was used as a framework for this study. Participants in this study were two teachers and their students in one section each of an American Civics course. Both classes were observed daily by a non-participant observer over the course of one semester. Field notes and audio-tapes were recorded by the observer during each lesson. Copies of materials and resources used during lesson activities were also collected. Interviews with teachers took place during the summer following the observation semester. Data were analyzed using an adapted version of Doyle's Activity Analysis Procedures (1984). In this procedure data from all data sources except interviews are combined in order to describe individual lesson activities. The focus of analysis was one unit that was taught as part of the curriculum in both classrooms. Results of analysis indicate that teachers and students in the two classrooms constructed different texts of the subject matter of the unit. Though there seemed to be similarities in general structure, the unit as it was enacted in each classroom, reflected differences in what aspects of content were represented, how content was constructed, how teachers and students interacted within the contexts of activities, and how activities were internally structured.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture