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Title:Third Space: Sharing a computer in a first-grade classroom
Author(s):Wang, Xiao-Hui Christine
Director of Research:Bruce, Bertram C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Katz, Lilian G.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ching, Cynthia Carter; Twidale, Michael B.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Third Space
Collaborative computer use
Young children
Game play
Abstract:Drawing primarily upon sociocultural perspectives and space theory, I propose a transactional model of Third Space construction to investigate young children’s spontaneous group game-plaving at a classroom computer, which is often misjudged as chaos, a waste ot time or a system design problem. A school year-long ethnographic study was conducted in a first-grade classroom at a public school located in a Midwest town. The data sources included videos, field notes, interviews and artifacts. The interaction analysis approach and grounded theory approach were applied to the research design, field work and data analysis. The results indicate that when children spontaneously form groups around a classroom computer, highly complex and sophisticated patterns of social behavior emerge. Classroom rules and artifacts - the computer, a timer and waiting lists - both enable and constrain children's collaborative computer use. The physical form of the space around the computer and its intended, regulated usage embody the individual oriented computer culture and teacher-centered classroom norm. However, children desire and practice a group-oriented computer norm and thus, they engage in an underground computer culture that is partially driven by their individual goals and collective goals. This manifests itself in the collaboration, negotiation, and conflictsolving that occurs between and amongst seated players and mobile participants. To reconcile the different cultural norms, children consistently negotiate tensions between their goals and the atfordances ot the environment, which results in complex spatial, temporal, social and cognitive processes. In these processes, children also appropriate and transform the meaning of artifacts and the rules in their environment in order to serve the needs of complex social negotiation. Consequently, children as active agents create a Third Space where the meaning, rules and practices are fluid and are constantly being constructed and reconstructed, going beyond the physical form and the intended and regulated practices at the computer. In conclusion, the transactional model provides a useful theoretical framework with which to study children's social practice at a classroom computer, as well as practical suggestions for teachers and computer engineers who wish to optimize students' collaborative interaction at the computer.
Issue Date:2003
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2003 Wang, Xiao-Hui Christine
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-11-19

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