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Mediating classroom culture based on democratic values: A sociocultural exploration of a teacher's facilitative role

Morcom, V. (2005) Mediating classroom culture based on democratic values: A sociocultural exploration of a teacher's facilitative role. In: 20th West Australian Institute of Educational Research (WAIER) Annual Research Forum 2005, 6 August 2005, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Abstract

The aim of this research was to examine the teacher's facilitative role to engage students in values education. An action research approach reflected on the classroom context and provided a focus for a range of qualitative research methods. Multiple data sources such as teacher observations, interviews, students and teacher reflection logs and sociograms were used to triangulate findings from parents, students and teachers. A sociocultural perspective (Vygotsky, 1978) provided the conceptual framework as the underlying assumption is that students learn from each other, mediated by the teacher or more capable peers. The focus on the social context and the development of interpersonal relationships are key features of peer mediated learning which complemented the processes chosen by the researcher to elucidate how a caring, supportive and democratic classroom was created.

The major findings reflected the foci of student and teacher conversations about interpersonal skills. The three phases of the study included: establishing positive 'relationships'; providing opportunities to develop leadership skills; broadening views about discriminatory behaviours, friendship and leadership. The major conclusion drawn from the study is that teachers do play a significant role in mediating positive relationships amongst peers in the process of establishing the foundations for productive and active citizenship.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Conference Website: http://waier.org.au/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27090
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