Comparative study of in-school learning contexts : comparison between France and England
This work consists in a theoretical overview of positioning theory, the construction of a methodology for interaction analysis, and its application to classroom interaction.\ud \ud The latter part is based on transcripts from audio-video recordings of 15 hours of lessons in mathematics and physics or science in England and in France, with children aged between 11 and 12. These transcripts were divided up into episodes, units displaying coherence in theme and purpose; and each episode was coded according to the types of behaviour the teacher displayed in them. The same types of behaviour were found in plenary interaction as those found by previous research into group work. Analysis carried out to highlight co-occurring types of behaviour (seen as rights and duties) only yielded two co-occurring rights – asking a scientific question and validating a statement, consistently with the previously noted prevalence of IRE/IRF sequences.\ud \ud A frequency analysis of the levels of occurrence of individual types of behaviour highlighted the scarcity of unsupported teacher statements. Further analysis of the episodes featuring teacher statements showed that the teacher may only introduce new elements on the basis of their own authority in highly specific circumstances: (a) after a student’s mistake, in which case the teacher’s statement is limited to explaining why the aforementioned mistake is one; (b) after a student’s question or (c) after a student’s unsolicited statement. In the last two cases, the teacher’s statement may go beyond the remit of the question or statement. Content introduced in such a way appears to have a longer-lasting legitimacy than that introduced with the help of official content.\ud \ud Some implications of these results are discussed: the need to take into account student agency in further research; and it is suggested that a lecturing style of teaching might be beneficial for learning.