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Developing a collaborative classroom: A cultural historical perspective

Morcom, V.ORCID: 0000-0002-0944-1705 (2017) Developing a collaborative classroom: A cultural historical perspective. In: The International Society for Cultural-historical and Activity Research (ISCAR) 2017, 29 August – 1 September, 2017, Quebec City, Canada


Students’ interaction with others significantly affects cognitive growth and the development of higher mental functions (Vygotsky, 1997, 1998). In the current research, students had opportunities to negotiate the conditions for their learning through the development of collective social practices that created a collaborative classroom. Students took responsibility for their participation in the Daily Social Circle and the Weekly Classroom Meetings. Students were or became the subjects of the collective activities, and the teacher’s role was to promote student cooperation and collaboration. The collective and personal sources of qualitative data are: the dialogue created during the Daily Social Circle and the Weekly Classroom Meetings; parent and student interviews; teacher/researcher observations and students’ reflection logs. The subject of the collective activity was social problem solving to develop student collaboration that ultimately supported learning and development. The collective activities were a source of social development for students but also the students themselves were the source of development for each other, through dialogue and the co-construction of new ideas during social practices. Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory and the concepts of social situation of development, crisis and the zone of proximal development will be used as analytical tools for the data analysis (Vygotsky, 1994). The theoretical and practical relevance of this research for pre-service teachers is related to how Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory contributes to a richer interpretation of classroom practices and the practical strategies that can be implemented to facilitate how students interact with each other to support their development and optimise learning.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Conference Website:
Other Information: Working Group Roundtable (WGRT) 19: Advanced collaboration in the classroom
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