Interruptions in kindergarten and grade three classrooms : a sociological analysis

Evans, Helen Catherine (1987) Interruptions in kindergarten and grade three classrooms : a sociological analysis. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The theoretical background of the investigation is Blumer's (1962) symbolic interactionist interpretations of George Herbert Mead's beliefs about social order. Research on schooling (e.g., Jackson, 1968; Martin, 1976; Woods, 1980; and Delamont, 1976) within the symbolic interactionist theoretical orientation is used to identify substantive issues in classroom research. These issues are addressed as part of the hidden curriculum of the classroom. Specifically this thesis investigates interruptions in kindergarten and grade three classrooms. It is designed to uncover specific dimensions of the complexities of an evolving social order and the hidden curriculum of the classroom. -- The decision to select a non-participant observation approach was shaped by theoretical perspectives, data requirements, administrative accessibility and technological efficiency. Fieldnotes of twenty three and one half hours of classroom interaction were recorded. By simultaneous collection and analysis of data eight categories of interruptions were extracted: (1) Obtrusive/Rude , (2) Observer Related, (3) Accepted/Excused, (4) Accepted/Unexcused, (5) Unnoticed/Ignored, (6) Environmental/Routine; (7) Point of Order/Direction, (8) Patterned/Question-Response. These interruptions were further analyzed for situational contexts of seating, types of periods and actors. -- Through comparative analysis of the interpretations by the actors of these interruptions in context similarities and differences between the teachers' and students' interpretation of interruptions were found. Situational contingencies attendant upon the interpretation of interruptions in kindergarten and grade three classrooms were also revealed. For example, kindergarten students were observed attempting to relate to the researcher in the classroom as they might relate to a teacher while in the grade three classroom deliberate attempts on the part of the observer to disguise teacher-like behaviour left students displaying confusion and disorientation. -- The importance of situational context to these interruptions point the way to further research into classroom situations. The overall findings of the present research suggest that teacher sensitization to the interruptive process could enhance teaching/learning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5113
Item ID: 5113
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 144-147.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1987
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Symbolic interactionism; Interaction analysis in education; Classroom management

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