ERIC Number: EJ1051940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
Playful Talk: Negotiating Opportunities to Learn in Collaborative Groups
Sullivan, Florence R.; Wilson, Nicholas C.
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v24 n1 p5-52 2015
This case study examines the role of playful talk in negotiating the "how" of collaborative group work in a 6th-grade science classroom. Here we develop and test a Vygotsky-derived hypothesis that postulates playful talk as a mechanism for identity exploration and group status negotiation. Our findings indicate that students utilized the playful talk genre as a means to (a) position themselves and others as more or less competent within the group in order to create or foreclose opportunities to learn, (b) maintain and strengthen bonds that were developing within the group toward the goal of achieving higher levels of coordination and opportunities to learn, and (c) pivot toward a self-selected identity aimed sometimes at affecting one's status within the group. Taken together, these 3 playful talk functions allowed the group to manage tensions that arose as a result of periods of low coordination and to open opportunities to learn for lower status group members. This study contributes to researchers' understanding of affective aspects of collaborative learning, which are theorized as foundational to success in such endeavors.
Descriptors: Case Studies, Cooperative Learning, Grade 6, Science Instruction, Interpersonal Communication, Peer Relationship, Group Dynamics, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Verbal Communication, Robotics, Creativity, Play, Video Technology, Audio Equipment, Physics, Group Discussion, Teaching Methods, Interaction, Semi Structured Interviews, Attention, Cues, Coding, Context Effect, Classroom Environment, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts