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ERIC Number: ED363423
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Sep-3
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Role of Questions in Small Group Discussions.
Coates, Elizabeth
Focusing on one aspect of a school-based project that examined the development of young children's communication skills, this study investigated variations in the balance and type of questions found in dialogues between preschool children interacting together and interacting with an adult. Subjects were 60 children, ages 4 to 5 years, who were tested on the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument and divided into groups containing 1 child with high language level scores, 2 children with moderate scores, and 1 child with poor scores. Each group was presented with a set of objects which the children explored by themselves for several minutes. Then an adult researcher participated in the dialogue. All sessions were tape recorded. Analysis revealed that with no adult present, children asked many questions that demanded and received complex answers. Findings suggested that this way of working allows children to exchange views and ideas with their peers, asking each other questions which they may not feel confident enough to ask their teacher. The study highlights the value of providing an interactive context where children can communicate with each other with or without a teacher, and illustrates the skill with which children use questions to maintain, gain, and extend knowledge. (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A