The Role of Peer Communication for Learning Processes in Class: Learning in Class Backstage
This doctoral thesis focuses on student's communication backstage of official classroom talk. The results show that this kind of communication plays a major role in the learning processes of the students. This hidden peer communication varies dependent on the teaching model. According to Klafki (1985) four of these models can be identified, three of which are included in the sample of the study: The course of instruction ('Lehrgang'), the project work and the training. Each of these teaching models has a distinctive structure offering different opportunities for learning. This makes them appropriate to dissimilar objectives. Successful learning can't be enforced even by a sophisticated learning environment. It's up to the students to make use of the learning opportunities. The analysis of peer communication in class shows that the students cooperate verbally in various ways to make use of the offered opportunities. Furthermore they even create new learning opportunities. Those patterns of verbal cooperation, which can often be described as feedback, match the teaching model and its specific 'structure of learning opportunities' (Baumert/Köller 2000). This leads to didactic consequences: The social dimension of learning processes has to be acknowledged. This is relevant even in phases of direct teaching. The student's functional communication should not only be admitted but also be assisted by the teacher. This assistance contains acquiring competencies as well as developing helpful relationships for learning. Literature: Baumert J, Köller O. 2000. Unterrichtsgestaltung, verständnisvolles Lernen und multiple Zielerreichung mit Mathematik- und Physikunterricht der gymnasialen Oberstufe. In: Baumert J, Bos W, Lehmann, R. TIMSS/III. Dritte Internationale Mathematik- und Naturwissenschaftsstudie — mathematische und naturwissenschaftliche Bildung am Ende der Schullaufbahn (2). Opladen, p 229-270. Klafki, W. 1985. Neue Studien zur Bildungstheorie und Didaktik. Weinheim/Basel.
Keywords: 'Classroom talk', 'Peer Communication', 'Learning Opportunity', 'Learning Process', Didactics, Feedback
PhD Student and Research Associate, Graduate Research Group on "Educational Experience and Learner Development" Faculty for Educational Science , University of Hamburg