School Trips and Classroom Lessons: An Investigation into Teacher-Student Talk in Two Settings

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Abstract

Although school trips to informal science institutions can result in conceptual and affective gains, the processes by which they do so are not yet clearly understood. Taking a sociocultural perspective that highlights the importance of discourse for learning, this work focuses on the talk that occurred in teacher pupil interactions, both during a museum visit and during pre- and post-visit lessons in the classroom. The museum setting affords many experiences not available in a classroom does it also afford different types of discourse? Transcripts from one secondary and three primary school classes provide evidence of the extent to which teachers' talk conformed to a triadic pattern, with discourse during the pre- and post-visit lessons more closely adhering to this pattern than that during the visit. However, a closer look at teacher student discourse revealed further complexities, including greater use of open-ended questions during triadic than during non-triadic discourse. Overall, the findings from this research indicate that museum visits may enable pupils to assert more authority temporarily and provide insight into processes by which such experiences may contribute to learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbern/a
Pages (from-to)454 - 473
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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