Understanding Teaching and Learning: Classroom Research by Graham Nuthall (auth.), Baljit Kaur (eds.)

By Graham Nuthall (auth.), Baljit Kaur (eds.)

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Austin described the semantic (curriculum) content of the task in 45% of his responses (Nuthall, 1999a). This tendency suggests that the classroom activity schemas that were developing in his mind were shaping (as schemas do) his perceptions, understandings, behaviours, relationships and memories (Derry, 1996). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Two different kinds of conceptual learning occur simultaneously and interactively in the classroom: the learning of the curriculum content—the knowledge, beliefs, concepts, skills and attitudes that make up the intended outcomes of specific learning activities; and the more general learning of those cognitive structures and processes that determine how curriculum learning occurs.

It makes the writing stand out”). At this point, the teacher joined the group and although they told her they had done the experiment, she explained again what they should be doing. Teacher: … have a look and see what happens when the drop’s there. Carly: It makes it clearer. Teacher: Does it make any—is it just clearer or is it bigger? Several students: Bigger. The teacher suggested they put another, bigger drop on the page and left the group to complete the experiment on their own. They were still confused about the result.

Shaun was internalising socially functional structures, acquired and used to facilitate his interactions with teacher and peers as sources of information about how to complete an activity successfully. It should not be assumed from the wide variation and fragmentation in the ways the students experienced the activity that this was an inadequate teacher using inappropriate materials. The teacher was experienced and rated highly by the school. The instructions the students read and followed during the activity were part of a commercially available science unit that had been produced and trialled by a group of experienced science teachers.

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