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Title:Teachers' Interactive Thoughts About Pupil Cognition
Author(s):Colker, Larry
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:This study addressed the question of how the extent of teachers' thinking about pupil cognition during instruction varies with instructional group size. Pupil cognition was defined as pupil comprehension, knowledge, learning, thinking, or instructional task performance. It was predicted on the basis of previous studies of teachers' interactive thoughts--as reported in stimulated recall interviews--that the extent of teachers' interactive thoughts about pupil cognition would decrease as instructional group size increased.
Six teachers were each videotaped during three lessons. One lesson was taught to a single student (tutorial condition), one to a small group (3 to 9 students), and one to a large group (12 or more students). Teachers were shown 20 segments from the videotape and were asked to report after each one the thoughts they had experienced during that part of the lesson. Using transcripts of these stimulated recall interviews, three judges classified the previously identified interactive thought units into two categories, "pupil cognition" and "other." The dependent variable was the proportion of interactive thought units about pupil cognition in each of the three instructional group size conditions.
Neither analysis of variance nor multiple regression analysis yielded a statistically significant effect for instructional group size. Subsequent content analysis of interactive thought units relating to pupil cognition produced the following findings: (a) proportions of interactive thought units where teachers evaluated or questioned pupil cognitive states or processes did tend to vary inversely with instructional group size, though the effect was not statistically significant; (b) more of teachers' interactive thoughts were expressed as questions in the small and large group conditions than in the tutorial condition; (c) teachers focused on individuals or on the group to an equal extent in the small and large group conditions, although they focused on a smaller fraction of the individuals in the large group condition.
Statistical, methodological, and conceptual problems which could account for the null results were discussed. Recommendations for reconceptualizing the research problem were presented. It was also recommended that more research be done on contingencies between teachers' thoughts and their actions during instruction.
Issue Date:1982
Type:Text
Description:97 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/68819
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8302837
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982


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