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Mediating relational agency in a collaborative classroom: A sociocultural perspective

Morcom, V.ORCID: 0000-0002-0944-1705 (2022) Mediating relational agency in a collaborative classroom: A sociocultural perspective. In: 37th Annual Research Forum. Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER), 6 August 2022, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.


A sociocultural view of learning positions teachers as mediators, to teach a curriculum that reflects what is valued by society. But in addition it is proposed that a specific focus on mediating relational agency to support collaboration further builds teacher and students capacities for learning. Peer interaction supports the development of communication, social and emotional competencies required for effective collaborative learning. But a deeper understanding of social and cultural challenges for schools accustomed to a traditional approach is required before change can occur. Relational agency is a two-way process, to become responsive so you can both receive and give support to peers. The data are drawn from three year-long projects conducted by the teacher/researcher with her students and other teachers who were mentored to develop new practices that challenged the status quo at their school. Rogoff's analytical planes are used as a framework to analyse the data and the findings are presented as four case studies related to bullying, conflict resolution, student leadership and teacher mentoring. The evidence-based social practices in this research can be adapted by other teachers interested in mediating relational agency to develop social and emotional skills to support a collaborative classroom (Morcom, 2014, 2015, 2016).

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