Learning to co-operate: a study of how primary teachers and children construct classroom cultures.
This paper reports on the findings of a study, the 'Constructing Classroom Cultures' project, funded by a small Australian Research Council grant at the University of Melbourne. Located in three primary school classrooms in Melbourne, Victoria, this study investigated how teachers and grade 3-4 students develop shared values and understandings concerning formal and informal codes of behaviour. Drawing on classroom observations, individual interviews with teachers and focus group interviews with children, this paper discusses the ways that teachers and children together build classroom cultures. Practices that work to produce supportive classroom environments as well as problem areas are identified. Examining classroom cultures at the micro-political level offers scope for considering how power relations can contribute positively to educational processes. Additionally, the ways in which informal interactions between teacher and students and among students call into play collaboration, compliance and resistance are opened up for examination. These case studies aim to contribute to understanding how productive classroom cultures are constructed in day-to-day interactions, a significant area of concern for teachers and teacher education students.
Asia-pacific Journal of Teacher Education
PRE2009-Sociology of Education