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Movie #2 -- 10 th Grade Biology: From loose recitation to free time…

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Presentation on theme: "Movie #2 -- 10 th Grade Biology: From loose recitation to free time…"— Presentation transcript:

1 Movie # th Grade Biology: From loose recitation to free time…

2 Interaction Orders, Network Switches, and the Process of Schooling Daniel McFarland Skye Bender-deMoll Research presented here is supported by funds from the Spencer Foundation and Stanford University’s Office of Technology and Licensing.

3 Topic / Problem -- two interrelated goals of paper. –The first is to explain how interaction dynamics are central to our understanding of the structure of complex organizations. Interaction dynamics reveal how normative structures of association form in everyday affairs; how they entail a multiplicity of coordinated endeavors, some of which involve orthogonal forms of association; how actors can move between this multiplicity of affairs; and how local actions can depart from and transform larger aggregate patterns of association. This addresses a shortcoming in network theory. The least developed aspect of social network analysis concerns the fluid, interpretive dynamics of communication on the micro-level. Fluid interactions are generally assumed to aggregate into stable relations and cultural domains are either fully ignored, or only related to networks in a casual, ad-hoc basis.

4 Topic / Problem -- two interrelated goals (continued…) –The second goal is to apply this conceptualization to the empirical dimension of schools. We illustrate how interaction dynamics afford a deeper understanding of schooling. Interaction dynamics reveal how a teacher-centered pattern of pedagogy arises in most classrooms; how pedagogy nonetheless entails a variety of coordinated endeavors that depart from this norm; how participants move through these different and orthogonal forms of coordinated activity; and how local actions can induce departures, negotiations, and transformations of the larger normative structure of schooling. The process of classroom order is important for education research because it is a precursor to learning (content focus). As patterns of interaction settle into recognized patterns, teachers and students find opportunity to shift attention away from concerns of coordination and social order to subject matter content. Current education research does not study the distributed, relational nature of educational settings in a systematic way that can be formalized and tested. This work presents such analysis.

5 Theoretical Argument on Structuring Process –The structuring of classrooms entails at least four classes of interaction order: role-frames, transitions, bracketed laminations, and problems (White 1995; Mische and White 1998). Certain classes of interaction order entail concatenating actions that reinforce norms, while others facilitate switches and counter-normative behaviors. Role-frames entail interaction where networks and interpretive frames concatenate and reinforce each other so as to create specialized forms of stable interaction. In the classroom, there is an academic role-frame and a social role- frame anchored in certain topics, activities, social identities, and status structures. Transitions arise as unstructured segments at the beginning and end of class, as well as between tasks when the academic frame and social roles of friendship and clique membership are not on. Problems are volatile episodes when the social order breaks down, uncertainty takes hold, and then reconstruction or repair efforts follow. As such, they are interchanges that can emerge in the middle of other classes of interaction order and sweep aside their dynamics. Another type of interaction order consists of bracketed laminations that span interpretive frames by bracketing episodes of interaction wherein a role-frame’s meaning is transformed into something patterned on but independent of them (jokes, keying, fabrications, etc). –Building on prior work, we describe interaction ordering, or “structuration”, as guided by rules (activity-scripts) and resources (Giddens 1984; Barley 1986; Sewell 1992), but we expand the notion of resources to entail (a) claims (discursive cues) and (b) contexts (network configurations).

6 Empirical Argument on the Structure of Schooling We reinforce the conceptual argument through case studies and formal models of classroom interaction. In particular, we identify processes that establish (or undermine) recursive patterns of behavior. We find that there are certain activities, network conditions, and forms of talk that generate the normative structure of schooling across classrooms. –We find the normative structure of schooling is teacher-centered (e.g., recitation and lectures), and that even in decentralized activities of class discussion, there is a tendency to fall back on centralized formats to coordinate collective action. In addition, we identify (de)stabilizing mechanisms within types of activities (i.e., coordination games), which reveal how the structure of schooling can be transformed by practitioners. –Only in student-centered tasks like presentations and group work does the teacher’s diminished role help stabilize the pattern of ongoing interactions, and reveal routes by which alternative forms of schooling can be successfully managed.

7 Data and Unit of Time Unique Data on Streaming Classroom Interactions –Observed many classrooms and recorded who spoke to whom, when, and in what manner. Caught turns of interaction and their corresponding forms of speech (task, social, moral evaluations, technical evaluations, broadcasts, questions), and noted activity schemas, time, etc. Lower reliability is had in phases where simultaneous talk arises (free time). However, all measures use patterns of interaction (instead of frequency), and the number of observations decreases the amount of error affecting results. In spite of reliability issues, this is closest data has come to coded streaming interactions, and it is useful for developing methods appropriate to data on fully dynamic systems. Should there be a bias, it will underreports of such behavior. –The final data set consists of over 800,000 turns of interaction that spans 3000 individuals, 603 class periods, and 153 separate classrooms of two high schools. Classroom focus –We study how classrooms organize interaction over time. Our goal is to identify mechanisms endogenous to classroom settings and to offer a bottom- up perspective that is remiss in most sociological and educational research. –How do we decide on the unit of time to use? Since we are interested in how interaction is ordered, we want a time-scale that is not too short (so as to miss patterning of different “games”) nor too long (so as to merge multiple doings together). Hence, we settle on 2.5 minute slices of time, aggregate within them, and then look at how slices of class time are interrelated. Other durations of time could be used and the exploration of this is the topic of a future paper (Sunbelt topic).

8 Measurement: When does order arise in interaction? Challenge to measure stability when interaction patterns vary depending on the activity being performed. We want a single measure of stabilization. How do we capture the stability in interaction patterns when ties are distributed and can have variable organization in different settings? We take the triad census for every slice of class time and correlate it with the successive slice (census of slice t=0 with census of slice t=1). –Since null triads are overwhelmingly common, we omit them –Also, we separate task from sociable types of ties (~ 30 triad types). The correlation of successive triad censuses is a measure of pattern- similarity over time, and affords a scaled variable that is consistent across classes regardless of the type of activity and the size of the classroom network. –We tried other distance measures that had various problems: hamming distances, euclidean distances (across dyads and linguistic arrays), and even clustered structural distances (Butts and Carley 2003).

9 RESULTS (cases and formal models) Part 1 -- Four cases of interaction order Will use variety of visualizations to reveal dynamic processes of network manipulation and task cueing. –Summary plots »Used to display hundreds of thousands of observations in a format that can be readily understood and explored by practitioners and researchers (rates and inter-structural correlations are plotted). –Visualization of network dynamics »SoNIA (Social Network Image Animator, Bender-deMoll and McFarland 2003; Moody, McFarland and Bender deMoll 2004) – animates across graph layouts and uses a series of techniques to render movement reliable and meaningful. Free software publicly available

10 Two Cases of Switching Case #1: Trigonometry announcements, recitation review, recitation fun problem, pair work quizzes Case #2: Biology announcements, recitation lesson (with humor), recitation review, free time


12 Movie 1 – Trigonometry: announcements, recitation review, recitation fun problem, pair work quizzes Movie 2 – Biology: announcements, recitation lesson (with humor), recitation review, free time

13 Two Cases of Stalled /Failing Order Case #3: Economics Lecture introduction, groupwork Case #4: English 10 Lecture introduction, seatwork


15 Movie 3 – Economics: Lecture introduction, groupwork Movie 4 – English 10, Speech: Lecture introduction, seatwork

16 Finds across four cases – –Different “games” with different organization. Different “dances” that designate distinct interaction orders: –recitation entails stars with rotating core –free time has fluid cluster and spanning tree –group work has stable cliques and teacher monitoring –student presentation entail rotating stars –seatwork entails local, fluid communications centered around teachers Different network processes: –Centralization-decentralization (e.g., recitation/presentation versus group work / free time) –Clustering-separating (e.g., group work versus seatwork) –Different points of disorder – brackets of period cued transitions unplanned deviations and rebellion –Typically inverse network processes as that called for by the activity. For example, group work falls apart with broadcasts or centralization moves, and lectures fall apart when clustering and/or competing centralization efforts arise.

17 Part 2 – Formal models –Additive model of central tendency Want to identify general structure of schooling. Correlation is really skewed variable with classes veering into and out of interactional stability -- basically a discrete shift. We dichotomize the variable so that “stable” refers to slices of class time with triad patterns correlated by at least.89 (value is the median correlation). We then use fixed effects models that identify mechanisms creating stability/change within classroom interaction over time (so classroom and school level characteristics are removed). We use fixed effects because it enables us to focus on the social processes endogenous to classrooms (where most of the variance resides) and it affords the most conservative model (i.e., removes spuriousness, bias, heterogeneity shrinkage, etc). –Interaction terms Conditional effects presented since we want to know how various network conditions and forms of speech influence the stability of interaction within types of prescribed tasks (Jacard 2003). –We want to know the relative rate of each form of speech relative to other forms. We operationalize this as the percentage of total interaction that is of a particular type. Such measures capture the stylistic focus within a slice of class time as opposed to sheer volume or rates of behavior. We argue that it is linguistic style that should affect interaction roles and the structuring process.


19 Factors causing interaction order/disorder in classes – story of centralization and control, but more from local disputes and coordination problems (bottom up perspective of schooling process). –Transitions are more volatile (open-close, transitions) –Long-term decrease in stability (months into year) –*Cued activity structures differ in order / disorder lectures > presentation, recitation, discussion > group work, tests, audio > seatwork and undefined. Centralized formats tend to be more stable routines (lacks ambiguity of hierarchy). –Forms of Speech – central tendencies of schooling process (driven by most common activities, i.e. recitation) Teacher broadcasts and technically evaluative speech stabilizes Most any form of direct talk destabilizes, but especially teacher-student talk, conflicts (moral) and bracketed laminations (jokes). –*Network conditions vary in effect Task asymmetrical ties are helpful (~broadcasts), social reciprocity creates some disturbance, and reciprocal task ties and asymmetric socializing are quite problematic (student outbursts).

20 Prior section describes central tendencies of schooling process, and as such, describes the realized social structure emerging in classes more generally. The emergent structure of schooling is contingent on which activities are prescribed and enacted. –The tendency toward centralized formats reflects problems of coordination in student-centered and progressive forms of instruction. In order to transform the structure of schooling, the problems of coordination undermining progressive forms of instruction need to be understood and overcome. Therefore, it is useful to know what types of behavior sustain or undermine distinct interaction orders. In effect, we ask, what speech and network forms are crucial to the stability of different activity structures, and which are most capable of undermining them. We turn to interaction terms…




24 Lecture, recitation, and discussion – all similar in that they are “teacher centered” –Lecture: best maintained when the teacher voices broadcasts and technical evaluations; undermined when the teacher is sociable, or when students have side conversations, argue, and emit broadcast statements of their own. –Recitation: same as lecture but now student technical evaluations also help stabilize interaction and T-S contact is more acceptable; undermined by teacher-sociability, student broadcasts, and peer side conversations. –Discussion: best maintained by teacher broadcasts and questions, and there is tolerance for more open dialogue; undermined by teacher-student sociability, jokes, and student arguing. Student presentations different –Presentation: student broadcasts stabilize, but so do teacher broadcasts/questions, and peer task interaction (Tch = MC who coordinates and discusses / embellishes student broadcasts); undermined by open socializing and arguing.

25 Group work, undefined, seatwork, and tests / audiovisuals –Group work: best maintained by a distant teacher and student task conversations; tolerant of sociable behavior and humor, but undermined by any centralizing claims (broadcasts). –Undefined (free time / maintenance): maintained by student socializing; undermined by peer task interactions and teacher broadcasts. –Seatwork: tolerant of peer socializing, humor, and students posing questions; undermined by centralized formats. –Tests: teacher questions and student technical evaluations mildly assist matters (i.e., test preparation behaviors), but everything else disrupts the activity. –Audiovisual: non-action, or silence, stabilizes the task.

26 Network Conditions and Cued Tasks –Task asymmetry: helpful for centralized tasks like lecture, recitation, discussion (teacher centered discussions ~ Socratic method), and student presentations. –Task reciprocity: key for group work and not much else. –Social asymmetry: avoid in most tasks, but not of concern in undefined segments. Entails student broadcasts, so especially disruptive of routine segments involving repetition (lecture, recitation, group work) or low interaction rates (tests and audiovisuals) where it stands out. –Social reciprocity: salient in seatwork and undefined segments where appropriate, but problematic elsewhere.

27 Conclusion –Study identifies general structure of schooling as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various instructional formats. –Models show the dynamics of interaction, and how these dynamics are organized in ways reflective of a general schooling process. –The general story derived from these results is that the structure of schooling is defined primarily by prescribed activity-frames and issues of instructional control. Activity frames define the instructional process and the network conditions educators want to establish. However, prescribed formats do not always take hold, and interaction orders of varying kinds can drift toward more centralized formats. –Results offer some hope in that educators can identify various activities, network conditions, and forms of speech (i.e., rules, contexts, and claims) that can either bolster or transform interaction patterns they would like to establish in educational settings.

28 Interaction Orders, Network Switches, and the Process of Schooling Daniel McFarland Skye Bender-deMoll Research presented here is supported by funds from the Spencer Foundation and Stanford’s Office of Technology and Licensing.

29 Histogram for Triad Census Correlation (Mean.6639, Std Deviation.3866, Median.8887) Histogram # Boxplot ********* 602 |.************************************************ ************** 918 | |.******* 458 *-----*.**** 251 | |.*** 176 | |.*** 193 | |.****** 387 | + |.***** 281 | |.**** 229 | |.*** 181 | |.*** 156 | |.*** 139 | |.*** ** 124 |.*** 155 |.*** 140 |.*** 168 |.*** 160 |.*** 187 |.***** 294 |.************* 883 |.***** 320 | * 9 | * may represent up to 68 counts

30 Group dramatization in creative writing classs


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