ERIC Number: ED202596
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Teacher Intervention in Preschoolers' Arguments.
Teacher interventions in the spontaneous arguments of seven preschoolers 3 to 5 years of age were analyzed. Twenty hours of data were audiotaped over a 3-month period in a small, church-affiliated private school while children were involved in free play and classroom activities. Interactions that might be taken as arguments were first transcribed and then categorized in terms of content and structure. Content categories were Possession, Number, Conduct, Truth, Role, Opposition to Request, and Exclusion. The structure of arguments was categorized as either simple or complex. Following Eisenberg and Garvey's definition of an adversative episode, researchers identified events antecedent to the arguments and initial oppositions. Resolutions of the arguments were not always clear, perhaps because of distractions introduced by children outside the arguing dyad or as a result of the teacher's intervention. It was found that the teacher intervened in 26% of the 189 arguments between children. She intervened most often during children's arguments concerning Possession or Opposition to Requests. In 13 of 19 instances (68%) the child who initiated the argument also sought intervention by the teacher. The initiator seemed to enhance his or her chances of winning the argument by appealing to authority. Conversational topic shifts indicated that children stopped arguing when the teacher intervened. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speech Acts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).