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Teachers from diverse cultural settings orchestrating classroom discourse
chapterposted on 01.01.2017, 00:00 authored by G S Tytler, R Aranda, I Freitag-Amtmann
Researchers have long argued that teacher-student interactive talk is critically important in supporting students to reason and learn in science. Teachers’ discursive moves in responding to student input are key to developing and supporting a rich vein of interactive discussion. This Chapter describes the analysis of video sequences for seven teachers across Australia, Germany and Taiwan to develop a coding scheme for these teachers’ ‘discursive moves’ that guide and respond to student inputs, to unpack more completely the strategies used by experienced teachers in each country to develop interactive discussion. The analysis showed the complex ways in which knowledge was transacted, with a range of teacher discursive moves serving three broad purposes: to affirm and mark student responses, to clarify, and to challenge and extend student ideas. The analysis revealed a commonality in the discursive moves of the teachers, but with very different patterns of control of talk and of negotiation of knowledge in response to student claims. The data show clearly that all these experienced teachers’ discourse moves go well beyond the traditional Initiation-Response-Evaluation (IRE) patterns described in the literature, such that all teachers focus strongly on supporting reasoning and higher level learning. However, their patterns of moves differ considerably in the way they develop over lessons, in the way the dialogic-authoritative discourse distinction plays out, and in individual discursive styles related to beliefs. It is argued that the discursive patterns are strongly framed by contextual and cultural factors relating to the way classrooms are constituted in the three countries.