Factors affecting the communication skills of high school students Essay

Classroom communication skills
Contents
1. Student Teachers’ Communication Skills
2. Foreign language mediated education
3. Developing communication analysis methods
4. Technology enriched inquiry mathematics in teacher training Student Teachers’ Communication Skills
The aim of the research is to develop student teachers’ communication skills while they are in teacher education practice. The theoretical foundation is mainly the communicative approach from Leeds University (Mortimer & Scott, 2003). We designed a specific teaching programme about teacher talk to influence student teachers’ practice of and beliefs about teaching physics. Student teachers were familiarised with the concept of a communicative approach to teaching that categorises teacher talk into four different classes. Whilst it has been suggested that science teaching is commonly based on monotonic and transmission modes of teaching alone, the communicative approach adds a sociocultural aspect to teaching and learning therefore extending student teachers knowledge to include new or innovative approaches to teaching science. The results of this study indicate that, although student teachers struggle with the challenge of implementing new approaches into teaching, they are still able to include them in their physics lessons even during initial teacher training. Key questions

The effect of knowledge of discourse types on student teachers’ talk patterns. How to access and reform student teacher beliefs about teacher talk in science To what extent and how are dialogic interactions manifested within Finnish physics lessons? Researchers: PhD student Sami Lehesvuori, lecturer, PhD Ilkka Ratinen, prof. Helena Rasku-Puttonen, prof. Jouni Viiri, master students Cooperation: The Leeds group (Dr J. Ametler)

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Foreign language mediated education
Josephine Moate’s PhD reconceptualises teacherhood through the lens of foreign language (FL) mediated education. The FL mediation of teaching and learning creates a significantly different teaching-learning environment. This new environment requires teachers and learners to draw on their pedagogic and learning repertoires in different ways and creates a different relationship with language in the classroom. This approach also challenges the interactional assumptions of a text-based learning environment. Moate’s dissertation seeks to draw attention to different aspects of teacherhood fundamentally affected by the change in language. Furthermore, this research presents a talk-based pedagogical model for the FL-mediation of education . This study draws on work with an educational community including preschool to upper secondary school teachers, as well as participant-observation in two seventh grade FL-mediated-science courses. Key questions

As a form of innovation, what does the foreign-language mediation of education reveal about teacherhood? How can dialogic theory support enriched understanding of teacherhood on the basis of these findings? Researcher: PhD researcher Josephine Moate,

Cooperation: Jyväskylä CLIL Cascade
Developing communication analysis methods
According to socio-cultural theory, teaching-learning-discourse constitutes an integrated complexity. Since we investigate discourse in teaching and learning, we can study how these three aspects (teaching, learning and talk) of meaning construction are related. Learning is a process that happens over time and learning is mediated through dialogue. Therefore, there is need for studying dialogue over time to understand how learning happens and why certain learning outcomes result. It gives us opportunities to follow the communicative repertoires of teachers and students and the changing forms of participation and communicative patterns in the classroom. In an efficient learning environment there has to be some kind of continuity of discourse over time. The main focus is on time-based-classroom discourse analysis which is a new field in socio-cultural classroom discourse analysis. The study is based on Viiri and Saari (2007) and Niina Nurkka’s PhD-thesis. Using temporal analysis of classroom discourse we aim to characterise the continuity, cumulation etc (Alexander) of discourse. Key questions:

How to characterise the nature, purposes and rhythm of classroom discourse? How to describe the cumulative science teaching?
What is the relation between the nature of discourse and the topic (content) dealt? Researchers: Post doc, PhD Niina Nurkka, Sami Lehesvuori, Jouni Viiri – Cooperation: The Leeds group ( Dr J Amettler), Lyon goup (prof Andrée Tiberghien) and Open university (prof. Karen Littleton). Technology enriched inquiry mathematics in teacher training

There is consensus that effective teaching methods in mathematics are student centered, emphasize interaction, challenge students to investigate mathematical phenomenon in non-routine tasks, and utilize appropriate technology. This kind of teaching is called inquiry mathematics. According to previous studies, inquiry mathematics enhances learning. However, teachers need support in implementing this kind of teaching. The aim of this research is to study how prospective secondary and post-secondary mathematics teachers implement technology enriched inquiry mathematics. The prospective teachers (N=29) were taught about the principles of inquiry mathematics and introduced to GeoGebra software. After this they were asked to implement an inquiry mathematics lesson. Data was collected by mainly by videotaping teacher trainees’ inquiry mathematics lessons and interviewing them. Timeline: Data collection 2010–2012

Researcher: Lecturer Markus Hähkiöniemi
Researchers: Lecturer
Collaborators: Prof. Jouni Viiri, Dr. Henry Leppäaho, Dr. Kauko Hihnala and master students, Prof. John Francisco (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Dr. Antti Viholainen (University of Eastern Finland)

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