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ERIC Number: ED346534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Action and Inaction: Student and Teacher Roles in Classroom Participation.
Morgenstern, Lin
An ethnographic study of a linguistics classroom produced insights into student perceptions of in-class speech that can contribute to the ongoing debate about the place of student participation in academic classrooms. The study was conducted in an elective undergraduate linguistics course at Michigan Technological University. Fifteen classroom sessions were observed, and out-of-class interviews were conducted with two female and two male students. The study followed the participant observation model. In the class studied, there were many opportunities for student speech, but a core of five to six students seemed to monopolize these opportunities. Student actions and attitudes, recorded by observation and interview, revealed four tacit rules for class participation: (1) do not ask stupid questions; (2) do not waste the teacher's time; (3) do not waste class time; and (4) try to find the answer before asking the teacher. Some students function under the assumption that only those with the most knowledge should speak, thus assuming a hierarchy of knowledge. Findings indicate a serious gap existing between student and teacher perceptions of the value of participation. Instructors should reserve time at the beginning of each term and throughout the term to explain the rationale behind student speech. (Two graphs indicating the breakdown of student speech in two separate class meetings are included.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A