About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3863-3872
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1925

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FACE-TO-FACE DISCUSSION IN CHINESE PRIMARY SCHOOLS

W. Bao, P. Blanchfield, G. Hopkins

University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
This paper reports on a study of learning behavior in Chinese children aged 8-11 years. Current educational settings in China sit within the Confucian cultural background; teaching is didactic with the teacher taking an authoritarian role and children learning by listening and doing but not by questioning. The use of purely didactic teaching can impose limitations to learning due to the reduced opportunity to engage in peer-to-peer discussions and thus cognitive conflict situations which could otherwise enable scaffolding of learning. This research aimed to investigate the limitations within the Chinese classroom and to study the behaviour of children when interacting in peer-to-peer discussions with a view to understanding how to augment their learning to promote more active learning and a deeper understanding of taught material.

Three primary schools in China took part in the study and a total of 378 children were observed taking part in face-to-face discussions in groups with no teacher present. The children were instructed to think, in their groups, of questions regarding a particular science topic and then to put these questions to other groups. The interactions between the children were recorded and thematically analysed to determine types of responses and patterns between responses. These were then statistically analysed and a model of question-answer responses was developed. It was established, from this model, that the responses observed relate to existing models of peer interaction developed by other researchers and the sessions encouraged reasoned dialogue between peers. However there were indeed limitations to the types of responses between peers which reflected reduced critical thinking and engagement with conflict. It is proposed that the use of technology to bridge gaps in the model and thereby enhance critical thinking and cognitive conflict would enable more productive discussion in the classroom with reciprocal exploration of reasoning and viewpoints. Such discussion should incorporate agreement and cooperation but also disagreement and conflict between peers without loss of “face” and would actively promote knowledge building and deeper learning.
@InProceedings{BAO2016EFF,
author = {Bao, W. and Blanchfield, P. and Hopkins, G.},
title = {THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FACE-TO-FACE DISCUSSION IN CHINESE PRIMARY SCHOOLS},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1925},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1925},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3863-3872}}
TY - CONF
AU - W. Bao AU - P. Blanchfield AU - G. Hopkins
TI - THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FACE-TO-FACE DISCUSSION IN CHINESE PRIMARY SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1925
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3863
EP - 3872
ER -
W. Bao, P. Blanchfield, G. Hopkins (2016) THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FACE-TO-FACE DISCUSSION IN CHINESE PRIMARY SCHOOLS, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 3863-3872.
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