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Title: How do the relationships in the socio-cultural context of the classroom influence children's learning dispositions?
Author: Morris, Carolyn Marian
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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Classroom relationships create the socio-cultural context that influences children's learning dispositions. Children contribute to the plurality and richness of discourses in this context, but the class-teachers take the lead roles in selecting and guiding the discourses of interactions and relationships they share with children. The framing of the curriculum to provide sensitive classroom discourses of inclusion encourage children's involvement and support their 'social identities'. Through "active" participation, the 'habits of mind'(Katz and Raths, 1985) and the 'participation repertoires' (Carr, 2001) of the socio-cultural context strengthen children's 'learner identities' to influence their learning dispositions. Children's discourses reveal an awareness of their teacher's sensitivity, responsiveness to their needs and the stimulation of their learning. Their relationships with peers, contribute to their sense of belonging, well-being, involvement and participation. Teachers' perspectives and pedagogic practice reveal contradictory notions of children as "active" or "passive" learners. The discourses of the National Curriculum and directives contribute to these contradictions and are interpreted by these teachers as constraints to practice. Classroom discourses that offer autonomy to children are most prevalent in small group situations where they can be "active" learners who take responsibility for their learning. Welsh cultural discourses related to National Identity and language in the Welsh medium school provide stabilizing influences in children's education at a time of change, when "commodification" discourses have entered the classroom arena. The discourses of "commodification" are more apparent in the newly established English medium school, but its provision of innovative educational experiences ensure children's involvement and participation. The study was based on exploratory, qualitative, interactionist research in two case-study primary classrooms in Wales, one English medium, and the other a Welsh medium school. The methods were in-depth interviews with head-teachers and class- teachers, classroom observations during lessons, writing activities and focus group discussions with children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available