Issues Of Interaction: A Consideration Of Factors That Impact Upon Children Operating, In Junior Classrooms, As Reflective Practitioners In The Context Of Group-Based Practical Problem Solving Activities

Newcomb, James William (2004). Issues Of Interaction: A Consideration Of Factors That Impact Upon Children Operating, In Junior Classrooms, As Reflective Practitioners In The Context Of Group-Based Practical Problem Solving Activities. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f5a8

Abstract

This thesis sets out to provide an insight into a range of factors which have been observed to impact upon the extent to which junior aged children, engaged in group-based practical problem solving activities, operate as reflective practitioners - essentially, as reasoned decision makers. It offers a detailed rationale for both the focus of the research study - an examination of influences on young children as reflective practitioners and the qualitative methodology adopted. It also provides, as part of its data analysis (centred on verbal interaction between teacher and pupil(s) and amongst pupils themselves), conclusions and recommendations, suggestions of ways in which teachers might best support young children as reflective practitioners; in effect, by taking cognisance of, and acting upon, both the concerns (limitations) and positive aspects (best practice) identified and discussed within the text. As a consequence, it is hoped that teachers can develop a classroom culture where all players recognise that both ‘action’ and ‘reflection’ are essential and valued components of the effective management of practical problem-solving processes, and that a willingness on the part of pupils to ‘think’, before they ‘do’, supports the efficient development of an optimised, end product.

The treatise is organised around an examination of the importance of four key issues: metacognitive questioning, task structuring, the effective management of collaborative endeavour and cognitive dissonance. These are shown to operate in an interrelated and complex manner, thereby highlighting the inherent difficulties in the proficient advancement of problem resolution by young children functioning in the context of group-based activities. In short, the complexities associated with securing the optimised solutions to problems in hand, noted above.

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