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ERIC Number: ED504504
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Instituting Change in Classroom Discourse Structure: Human and Computer-Based Motif Analysis. WCER Working Paper No. 2009-1
Nathan, Mitchell J.; Kim, Suyeon; Grant, Timothy S.
Wisconsin Center for Education Research (NJ3)
We compared the structure of discussions in a middle school mathematics classroom before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) teacher participation in professional development activities aimed at enhancing students' participation and the co-construction of mathematical ideas. Changes in the role of teacher and student were accompanied by identifiable changes in discourse structure. In particular, while traditional initiation-response-evaluation (IRE) patterns continued throughout, the de-centering of the teacher's authority led to a reduction in IRE occurrences and increases in student-directed initiation-demonstration-evaluation (IDE) patterns. Analyses conducted by human coders were corroborated by computer-based motif analyses that identified flexible patterns using probabilistic, data-mining methods, while also predicting some novel discourse structures. Appended are: (1) Event Codes Used, with Examples from Transcripts; (2) Example Section from Year 1, Lesson 1, of the Stream of Codes Obtained from the Four Lesson Transcripts Used for Both Human and Computer-Based Pattern Finding; and (3) Motif Example. (Contains 6 tables and 2 figures.)
Wisconsin Center for Education Research. School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 West Johnson Street Suite 785, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-4200; Fax: 608-263-6448; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A