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Year 6 pupils’ access to classroom talk and the contributory factors which influence their participation

Walker, Sinéad M (2010) Year 6 pupils’ access to classroom talk and the contributory factors which influence their participation. Lancaster University.

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Abstract

This study examined whether there was unequal participation in classroom discussion, and what factors may contribute to this participation. The participatory processes among a year six classroom were observed and quantitatively and qualitatively analysed. The findings have shown that within this classroom there was differential participation in classroom talk. It was found that SAT scores were significantly correlated with participation. In addition, an individual’s seating position had an effect on their participatory scores. There were no significant gender differences found or any significant difference between individuals were on the special educational needs register and individuals who were not. Data collected from the classroom observations suggest that the class teacher’s pedagogy and practices may have affected the participation and contribution of the pupils including the use of closed questions, reliance on IRF (initiation, response, feedback) sequences, and cued and direct elicitation. Similarly, his classroom structure and strategies may also be an influential factor; this includes seating arrangement and spelling groups. In addition, it could be suggested that social background is a further influential factor.

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