Browsing by Subject "thinking together"

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  • Hilppö, Jaakko (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    This study highlights the formation of an artifact designed to mediate exploratory collaboration. The data for this study was collected during a Finnish adaptation of the thinking together approach. The aim of the approach is to teach pulps how to engage in educationally beneficial form of joint discussion, namely exploratory talk. At the heart of the approach lies a set of conversational ground rules aimed to promote the use of exploratory talk. The theoretical framework of the study is based on a sociocultural perspective on learning. A central argument in the framework is that physical and psychological tools play a crucial role in human action and learning. With the help of tools humans can escape the direct stimulus of the outside world and learn to control ourselves by using tools. During the implementation of the approach, the classroom community negotiates a set of six rules, which this study conceptualizes as an artifact that mediates exploratory collaboration. Prior research done about the thinking together approach has not extensively researched the formation of the rules, which give ample reason to conduct this study. The specific research questions asked were: What kind of negotiation trajectories did the ground rules form during the intervention? What meanings were negotiated for the ground rules during the intervention The methodological framework of the study is based on discourse analysis, which has been specified by adapting the social construction of intertextuality to analyze the meanings negotiated for the created rules. The study has town units of analysis: thematic episode and negotiation trajectory. A thematic episode is a stretch of talk-in-interaction where the participants talk about a certain ground rule or a theme relating to it. A negotiation trajectory is a chronological representation of the negotiation process of a certain ground rule during the intervention and is constructed of thematic episodes. Thematic episodes were analyzed with the adapted intertextuality analysis. A contrastive analysis was done on the trajectories. Lastly, the meanings negotiated for the created rules were compared to the guidelines provided by the approach. The main result of the study is the observation, that the meanings of the created rules were more aligned with the ground rules of cumulative talk, rather than exploratory talk. Although meanings relating also to exploratory talk were negotiated, they clearly were not the dominant form. In addition, the study observed that the trajectories of the rules were non identical. Despite connecting dimensions (symmetry, composition, continuity and explicitness) none of the trajectories shared exactly the same features as the others.
  • Rajala, Antti (Helsingfors universitet, 2007)
    Participation and social modes of thinking - An intervention study on the development of collaborative learning in two primary school small groups This study explores the thinking together -intervention programme in three primary school classes. The object of the intervention was to teach pupils to use exploratory talk in small group collaboratory learning. Exploratory talk is a type of talk in which joint reasoning is made explicit. Research has shown that exploratory talk can improve mathematics and science learning, argumentative skills and competence in reasoning tests. The object of this study was to investigate the theory of social modes of thinking which the intervention program is based on. I tried to find out how the thinking together -intervention programme suits the Finnish context. Therefore my study is part of an international research project of interventions that have been implemented for example in Great-Britain and in Mexico. One essential drawback in former research made on thinking together -approach is that the nature of participation has not been studied properly. In this study I also examine how the nature of participation develops in small groups. In addition to that I aim to develop a theoretical framework which includes both the perspectives of the social modes of thinking and the nature of participation. The perspective of this study is sociocultural. The research material consists of video recordings of collaborative learning tasks of two small groups. In groups there were pupils of age groups 9 - 11. I study the nature of participation using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Quantitative methods include for example IR-analysis method and counting of turns at talk and words. I also use qualitative content analysis to analyze both the nature of participation and social modes of thinking. As a result of my study I found out that the interaction of the other group was leadership based and in the other group the interaction was without leadership relations. In both groups the participation was quantitatively more symmetrical in the end of the intervention. In the group in which the interaction was leadership based the participation of the pupils was more symmetrical. Exploratory talk was found more in the group without leadership relations, but in both groups the amount of exploratory talk was increased during the intervention. Leadership based interaction was further divided into interaction of alienating and inclusive leadership according to how symmetrical the participation was in the dialogue. Exploratory talk was found only when the leadership was inclusive or the interaction was without leadership relations. The main result of the study was that the exploratory talk was further divided into four subcategories according to the nature of participation. In open and inclusive exploratory talk all group members participated initiatively and their initiatives were responded by others. In closed and uneven exploratory talk some group members couldn't participate properly. Therefore it cannot be said that exploratory talk guarantees symmetrical participation. The nature of participation must be investigated separately.