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Title: Discourse in secondary physics classrooms
Authors: Farrugia, Yanica
Muscat, Claudine
Keywords: Language and education -- Malta
Discourse analysis
Interaction analysis in education -- Malta
Physics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Malta
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: 'Classroom discourse' is a term used to refer to the language that the teachers and students use in the classroom as they interact with each other. In this study, we wanted to gain a better insight of the kind of classroom discourse occurring during Maltese Physics secondary classrooms. Importance was given to the concept of the 'communicative approach' developed by Mortimer and Scott (2003), which provides an insight on how teachers work to develop ideas throughout the science lesson. These identified discourse used by the science teacher as being (i) interactive or non-interactive and (ii) dialogic or authoritative. The first dimension takes into account the level of student participation while the second dimension takes into account whether teachers make use of students' ideas, even when not based on scientific facts. In this study we conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis. In order to carry out the study, we recorded and observed fourteen Physics lessons presented by fourteen different teachers, ranging from Form 3 to Form 5. The same fourteen teachers were interviewed and one-hundred-and-eighty-eight questionnaires were distributed to the students observed. This allowed us to generate data about classroom discourse in Maltese secondary schools. It was concluded that, for this sample of teachers, they mainly initiated talk through questions which only required a one- or two-word answer in a short period of time. Also, teachers mainly used authoritative/interactive and authoritative/non-interactive discourse as their main communicative approach. On the other hand, dialogic discourse was scarcely used by Maltese Physics teachers.
Description: B.ED.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2012

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