|García, Ana Belén
|B.519 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 11:30 - 12:00, Room B1 |
|Adult collaboration and guided participation: working according to the Vygotskian
|The aim of this presentation is to analyse the process of collaboration that takes place between teachers and their companions in the course of the programme. “Educators” provide different types of support to facilitate the teachers’ tasks in the classroom, especially during the process that takes place while children discuss specific works of art. More concretely, we analyse the learning process that takes place both in the educator and in the teacher when the programme develops during the school year; we are especially interested in their collaboration processes.
Theoretically our analyses rely on sociocultural psychology. We introduce concepts such as Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) (Vygotsky) and Guided Participation (Rogoff, 2003). A classic text of Wood is now a good starting point for us to refer to the concept of learning, particularly when such learning takes place on the basis of the dialogues that are generated about art: “I believe that the development of certain forms of reasoning and the learning of things are a direct product as much of spontaneous as organized social interactions between the developing children and more mature members of their the community” (Wood, 1988, p. 15).
In this evaluation study we adopted an ethnographic methodological approach (Spindler & Hammond, 2005), which has helped us to understand school as a cultural or institutional context in which the activity of individuals acquires meaning. In this paper we take some examples from this research project that involves teachers and children in primary education. We collected data from 11 Spanish public schools; pupils were in the fourth, fifth and sixth primary classes (9-12 years old). In this context, we will consider two kinds of data: a) teachers’ and advisers’ relationships during preparation and evaluations sessions; b) classrooms conversations, in which children, teachers and advisers participated.
Our discussion and conclusions demonstrate how relationships between teachers and advisers were mediated by the perspectives from which each group approached the classroom situation. We look in particular at the changes in their relationships the course of the school year and observe how during this time specific shared goals were achieved. For instance, while in the first meetings the teacher was looking for several answers from children faced by paintings, without a clear plot line, the advisers were trying to keep as close as possible to the principles of the programme. In contrast, by the end of the school year a shared representation of the task and of the goals seemed to have developed between teachers and advisers, a relationship that surely generates more coherent conversations in the classroom, where the topics are presented in a coherent form and it was easy to discern clear relationships among the individual contributions in the children’s conversations.