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Title: Learning to discuss, discussing to learn : a study of tutorial groups in a Faculty of Social Sciences
Author: Anderson, Charles
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis reports on an interview study of student and tutor experience in, and perceptions of, tutorial groups in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. The interview study itself formed part of a wider project investigating tutorial teaching. This wider project involved non-participant observation of tutorials led by ten 'expert' tutors, analysis of transcripts of audio-recordings of tutorial talk, interviews with a sample of 52 students drawn from the tutorials which were observed, and interviews with the ten tutors. A key consideration in sampling was the wish to observe good practice in this form of teaching. Accordingly the tutors whose classes were observed, and who were interviewed, were chosen on the basis of their local reputation as highly skilled practitioners. Much of the past research in this area has had a fairly narrow focus of attention, concentrating on aspects of the process of discussion, group dynamics and the role of the tutor as facilitator of discussion. This thesis draws attention to a number of aspects of tutorial teaching which have received little attention in preceding research studies, such as the connections between tutorials and the wider learning system in which they are situated, and the tutor's role as a teacher and subject expert. Considerable attention is given to the tutors' teaching actions and it is argued that tutors can be viewed as acting simultaneously to enable and constrain students' understanding. The importance that tutors placed on creating a supportive, 'safe' group climate is described and the dilemmas that tutors faced in their day-to-day practice are also explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available