Cautionary Tales of Classroom Misunderstandings

Borthwick J. (1986) Cautionary Tales of Classroom Misunderstandings. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1 3: 277-287. doi:10.1177/074355488613003

Author Borthwick J.
Title Cautionary Tales of Classroom Misunderstandings
Journal name Journal of Adolescent Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1552-6895
Publication date 1986-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/074355488613003
Open Access Status
Volume 1
Issue 3
Start page 277
End page 287
Total pages 11
Language eng
Subject 3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology
3312 Sociology and Political Science
Abstract The language environment of the classroom is a mutually constructed reality created by the teacher and students involved in that particular context. It is understandable that classroom observers on a once-only visit misinterpret, misunderstand, or overlook meanings being made by teachers and students. But teachers and students in their own classrooms can also misinterpret or overlook meanings being made by their companions in learning. By examination of examples taken from transcripts of classroom language in a variety of high school content areas, classroom practitioners can be alerted to communication situations in which learning and understanding have been lost. This chapter reports research on classroom discourse in Australian high schools, and the implications of the findings for teachers. Misunderstanding of each others’ communication can occur for both teachers and students. The misunderstandings of students encountering unfamiliar or ambiguous subject-specific language are wellknown, as are the difficulties of students who are not at home with school language and its style of presentation. While these problems for students in understanding and expression have been explored in the past, such problems still continue to be overlooked, as indicated by examples taken from the transcripts. Less well documented is the ability of students to appear to be learning through engaging in classroom discourse while merely play-acting learning. Such students have an awareness of how classroom discourse operates which enables them to present a persuasive facade of understanding. In reality, all they understand is how to interact plausibly in classroom discourse. Some strategies for appropriate teacher-response to this range of misunderstandings are discussed.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
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Created: Tue, 04 Oct 2016, 12:46:25 EST by System User