Favoring argumentative disciplinary discussions in the classroom. A study of teacher's questions at undergraduate and graduate level
This study sets out to examine the teacher’s questions to their students during argumentative disciplinary discussions in the classroom, i.e., task-related argumentative discussions concerning the discipline taught in the course, with the aim to compare the types of questions used at undergraduate and graduate level. The data corpus is constituted by 16 video-recorded lessons (about 24h of video) of two courses – one at undergraduate level and one at graduate level – in Developmental Psychology. The two courses were selected according to the following criteria: i) similar number of students, ii) similar disciplinary domain, iii) both courses are taught by the same teacher in English language. The findings of this study show that at the undergraduate level, the teacher asks broad questions to her students with the aim to favor a large discussion with and among students around general topics relating to Developmental Psychology. At the graduate level the teacher asks specific questions that refer to scientific theories or to certain aspects of a theory in the field of Developmental Psychology. Moreover, at the graduate level both types of teacher’s questions are often followed by a further why-questions asked to the students.
Learning, Culture and Social Interaction
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Argumentation; Higher Education; Qualitative Research; Student-Teacher Interaction; Teaching Strategies