Variation in whole class, small group and individual student work within and across cultures
Place of Publication
Hackling, M. W., Ramseger, J., & Chen H.-L. S.
School of Education
Teaching and learning occurs in three main instructional settings, i.e., whole class, small group or individual work. Each instructional setting provides affordances and constraints in terms of the types of teaching and learning strategies that can be implemented effectively, which in turn impacts on students’ opportunity to learn. Variation between teachers’ use of instructional settings within a culture is likely to be a reflection of their beliefs and instructional style whilst variation in teachers’ use of instructional settings across cultures is likely to reflect the cultural framing of teaching and learning, and curriculum emphases within those cultures. This chapter reports data gathered through the analysis of instructional settings used in Australian, German and Taiwanese classrooms and compares the frequency and extent of use of the different instructional settings both within and across cultures. These data are interpreted drawing on teacher interview data that probed their beliefs about effective primary science teaching and learning. Analysis of these data indicate large variations in the extent to which whole class, small group and individual student work are used in sampled classrooms across cultures and some variation within cultures.