Lecture_Interaction

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Ania Lian, CDU - Lecture materials

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What is interaction? :

1 What is interaction? Ania Lian ELA200 CDU , 2013 All lectures of Ania reflect her own engagement in education research

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2 The definition above builds on Vygotsky’s concept of internal dialogue, but it takes it further. It says interaction is not two people talking, it is actually you talking to yourself about how to talk to others or how to understand others. This focus on interaction as an internal activity is important. It is well known that children, or anybody, learn ONLY through interaction. But the function of that interaction is not to map “meanings” onto children’s brains – this would be a behaviouristic idea and we are well over that era. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others. Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems Picture from: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/things-kids-must-do-before-theyre-10/story-e6frea83-1226479085896

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3 So any form of interaction is a yet another opportunity for us to re-visit our internal systems and adjust them, if needed. Learning is nothing else but making those systems over time increasingly precise. As a result, we become increasingly more proficient in disciplinary genres and we can manage increasingly complex tasks exactly because we have become so precise. We experience less chaos and ambiguity in our thought. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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4 In conclusion – It follows that good teaching will require from teachers to create opportunities for students to generate those internal dialogues. The more we do this, the more interactive our teaching environment. So, good teaching is not about talking to students. It is about creating opportunities for this internal dialogue to happen – all the times. Its absence means children are not engaged. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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5 How to facilitate these dialogic /interactive opportunities? . By breaking down concepts. We have covered this in Module 1 already. When we engage with our own children in building sand castles and they have no idea what a castle is or how to build one, what do we do? We break down the concept of building a castle to enable the child to build one. The point is, we do not build one for them. We want them to construct sufficient skills to build one themselves. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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6 So to summarise: Children build sand castles because they want to And the objective of breaking down concepts is for children to build up sufficient skills to engage in activities that they learn to value. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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7 In inclusive learning environments, the same applies: To ensure that all students are participating, we need to give them an assurance that they can do so successfully. We create a path to their success, not failure. The key to this assurance are the strategies with which we break-down concepts to allow students then to interrogate what they know and what this knowledge does for them. The outcome will be increasingly precise understandings and increasingly complex behaviour. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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8 So where does this place human interactions? In the context of learning their purpose is: To provide activities with a real life goal / purpose. In this way, the activity has a human dimension and students are not learning to please others only. To increase opportunities for students to generate internal dialogue. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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9 But human interactions alone will not be sufficient to generate the amount of dialogic opportunities that students need. Books will not do either, as they are not “interactive” enough to provide students with what they need when they need. In this day and age, resource-based learning is a must. We need to engage in identifying and developing a whole library of resources. This is to offer a rich and well informed learning experience to our students. Interaction is nothing else but an internal dialogue we generate in order to reduce ambiguity in how we act or understand others Interaction is about minimising ambiguity in our own interpretation systems

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10 Lessons from the past Using work by Phil Cormack Centre for Research in Education University of South Australia A genealogy of teaching practices: Researching the reading lesson

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11 who is the teacher here? what counts as ‘reading’? why this emphasis on signalling and movement and position? what ‘ pedagogic relations’ are being demonstrated? Phil Cormack

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12 Phil Cormack

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13 Phil Cormack

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14 Phil Cormack

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What is striking about those pictures? The dominant role of the teacher? But notice, it is not the teacher who is at the centre but the TEXT. The practice of studying texts can be traced back to monks studying the Bible. Now in schools, the Bible is replaced with other “recommended” texts that we study through Shared Reading practices and use as a study material. We may say – not much has changed. The next slide by Phil Cormack makes this point even more clear:

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17 in Patidge’s account of the “Quincy Methods”, later in the same [19 th ] century. Chapter 5 is entitled “A Lesson in Reading”. It opens with a statement of purpose (“To train the pupils to get thought from printed sentences”), teacher’s preparation (“Looking through the story to know what words it contains, with which the children are unacquainted; and arranging the manner of giving the lesson”), pupils’ preparation (“All the reading that they have ever done”), and plan, which is presented in six steps or stages. The movement here is from contextualisation (“Have the children tell all that they can think of about the pictures, and thus arouse an interest in the text of the lesson”) through various language activities (ie not just ‘silent reading’) to production (“[t]he final text which tells if the word is known,-- that they can use it properly in written work” [pp 371-372]). Following this is an extended account of a lesson, and a classroom in action, effectively dramatised in prose. Re-Reading the Reading Lesson: Episodes in the History of Reading Pedagogy, Bill Green, Phillip Cormack & Annette Patterson (2010) http://w3.unisa.edu.au/eds/documents/Rereading.pdf

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18 Compare with this:

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19 Student Examines relationships in a text in relation to other texts Does so to create an original text to engage others Text Text Text etc. Text By Ania Lian

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20 What is striking about the slide above? There is no teacher – Why do you think there is none? The text is still there, but not as an object to learn about or from. It is now embedded with other texts and explored relationally. If things have no meaning in and of themselves but, instead, meaning is constructed in relation to other things, then one cannot really understand a text, unless on studies its structures (the tools which create meaning) in relation to other texts. So we can deduce by now that the role of the teacher would be to facilitate this process of critical reading which is to inform students’ creative engagement (higher order thining ). Just like the sand castle game. We make things possible for students’ enjoyment and sense of achievement and completion of sorts.

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21 More examples of resource-based support

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22 Exploratory learning and Sam’s Games activity Objective - Take Sam’s Games as an example. The idea there is to get Max (ESL speaker, but could be anybody who is less vocal) to tell a story (some form of narrative /procedural text) about how he played online games. But the game does not say: Max please tell us something about how you do things. So Max is not put in the position of non-mastery, unable to respond. Instead we use strategies that make Max enjoy the lesson as we “put the right words into Max’s mouth” to help Max create “his own” text. So first Sam, the native speaker, shows the games and TALKS about his play Then Sam invites Max to play . And so Max can play – not much English yet.

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23 Exploratory learning and Sam’s Games activity Then Sam engages Max by asking “Did you Play?” And then an open-ended question “What happened?” – in case Max already knows how to tell the story, you can skip the rest of the game or speed it up. Otherwise Max can go through the rest of the slides. Max is never pressured for responses; they are provided and Max is always supported. He can listen to Sam’s voice , Max can record his voice next to Sam’s voice (and play both) and in so doing Max in fact is training himself to get the story right. At the end of the game, Max can tell us how he played the games. You can then take it from there and expand the sentences in some regular way. E.g. by adding adverbial phrases, or ?. You may reinforce this with online games and I am sure all students will benefit from the game and the activities which follow. .

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24 NihaoHigh is a name I invented to create an example how students/ children can learn to build up the profile of their class online and over the years See an example of the imaginary website with Google Sites

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25 NihaoHigh Online