ERIC Number: ED292799
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Through the Looking Glass: Towards Thicker Description of Teaching.
Olson, John K.
A "thick" description of teaching is referred to as the uncovering of the meaning of what is being said or done by knowing the structure in which it is said or done. In this ethnographic study of teachers' experiences with microcomputers in their classrooms, George Kelly's (1955) personal construct theory was used to develop a clinical interview strategy based on the idea that how teachers deal with a change is dependent on how they construe classroom life. It is posited that teachers have well established practices for conducting life in their classrooms which allow the business of the class to be done. Computer-based learning threatens those routines and causes routines to be re-appraised. How teachers use computers and how they construe their experience cannot be properly understood without knowing the backdrop of everyday classroom routines and what they say about how a teacher interacts with the students in the context of the classroom. Using Kelly's method, two teachers were asked to construe classroom events involving computers and some insight was gained into the way they thought about their experiences with microcomputers. One teacher, at the elementary level, was just beginning to imagine how computers would work in the classroom. The other, at the secondary level, was already giving over some of the work of the curriculum to the computer. A report is presented of observations of the teachers' classrooms and of in-depth interviews with the teachers. (JD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).; Ontario Dept. of Education, Toronto.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).