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Development of Power Relationships in the Classroom of Future Teachers Zuzana Šalamounová, Kateřina Lojdová, (Jarmila Bradová, Kateřina Vlčková) ECER 2013ECER.

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Presentation on theme: "Development of Power Relationships in the Classroom of Future Teachers Zuzana Šalamounová, Kateřina Lojdová, (Jarmila Bradová, Kateřina Vlčková) ECER 2013ECER."— Presentation transcript:

1 Development of Power Relationships in the Classroom of Future Teachers Zuzana Šalamounová, Kateřina Lojdová, (Jarmila Bradová, Kateřina Vlčková) ECER 2013ECER 2013 Department of Education, Faculty of Education

2 J. A. Comenius Czech Republic

3 This paper is a part of the output of a three ‐ year ‐ project called “Power in the Classes Taught by Student Teachers” The research is sponsored by the Czech Science Foundation

4 Introduction to the research project The aim of the project is to describe in detail how power is negotiated, used, and perceived by student teachers and their pupils on the level of lower secondary schools (ISCED 2A) in classes of student teachers. In this paper, we would like to introduce out theoretical background and methodological implications.

5 Concept of power Power is defined as the ability to influence opinions, values, and behaviour of a person or a group of persons (McCroskey, 2006; Richmond & McCroskey, 1992). Power principle: power comes from the person being influenced – not the person in the more powerful position.

6 Characteristics Situational phenomenon (Jacobs, 2012, Schulz, Oyler, 2006) Circular phenomenon (Buzzelli, Johnston, 2001, Aultman, Williams-Johnson, Schutz, 2009) Reciprocal phenomenon (McCroskey, 2006; Moscovici, 2007)

7 Why student teachers? Newly qualified teachers know necessary information of their teaching subjects, but they do not know how to meet conditions for establishing power relationships in the classroom (Richmond & McCroskey, 1992; Staton, 1992). Harsh and rude reality of everyday classroom life can cause collapse of their ideals formed during teacher training - “the reality shock”(Veenman, 1984).

8 Power play in Czech schools Traditional power constelation is characterised by concentration of power in the teacher’s hands. Mode called power play (Šeďová, 2011). Teacher establishes situation in the classroom according to his/her aims. Situation is close to hegemony (Hargreaves, 1972).

9 Power play in Czech schools The dominant role of teacher is supported also by seating arrangement in which pupils have only little chance to talk to each other (see Bradová, 2011).

10 Power play in Czech schools This setting is supported by communication based on IRF structure which is a dominant communication mode (Šeďová, Švaříček, Šalamounová, 2012; see also Alexander, 2007).

11 T: When we talk about accidents we use die of and when we talk about diseases we use die from. Remember the difference, OK? P Tomáš: But it has got the same meaning! I mean, in both cases the people die because of health problems. T: You think so? P Tomáš: Yes, because... T (she interrupts him): But it’s not the same. Because here (is pointing to “die from” written on the whiteboard) is a long term cause which causes the death. On the other hand, here (she is pointing to “die off” written on the whiteboard) the cause of death is instantaneous. What was the cause of death in “die of?” P Tomáš: Heart attack. T: Good. That’s why we use “die of.” P Tomáš (interrupts the teacher who wants to move on to a new topic): But one can die of a heart attack after a much longer time then they had it. T: You know what? Here is the dictionary, look it up (hands him the dictionary, Tomáš is vexingly looking around the classroom, pupils giggle). Look up “die of” and “die from.” And you’ll tell is in a while what you found. P Tomáš: OK... (…) T: Did you find when “die from” is used? Which phrasal verb did you look up the first? P Tomáš: To die of means to die because of some fatal accident. T: To die because of some fatal accident. As I told you. There was I thinking that I made a mistake. Well, then everything is OK, isn’t it? (is smiling).

12 Changing tendencies of power relationships Nowadays academic and public discussions accent the fact that power realitonships should change. Result of democratization of the Czech society. Influence of discussion about efectivity of traditional transmissing way of teaching. Considerations that transition to constructivist teaching requires adequate modifications of retationships are logical.

13 Tendency to change of power relationships Especially novice teachers tend to establish power relationships that are based on concensus. Pupils should be involved in decission-making processes in the level of the classroom. Pupils should enjoy the process of schooling. Ideally pupils should behave and perform in accordance with aims of the school that they co-construnsted. Simultaneously they should do so with pleasure and voluntarily.

14 Teachers with „democratic subjective theories” nowadays struggle to meet requirements that are expected from them, therefore the schooling suffers from problematic power constelations As the result 40 % of Czech teachers decide to change their career and leave the profession within 4 years (Blížkovský, Kučerová, Kurelová a kol., 2000, s. 169) Rationale of the project in the Czech environment

15 Project methodology The project is designated as a field research based on mixed methods design. Data collection: -In-depth interview with student teachers and pupils -Participant observation of the student teachers and their pupils during classes -Video recording of four classes (in total 32 classes) -Pupils questionnaire (Teachers´ Power Use Scale), shortly after the recording from September 2013 to December 2013 (during long- term practice of student teachers)

16 Thank you for your attention. Zuzana Šalamounová (salamounova@ped.muni.cz) Kateřina Lojdová (lojdova@ped.muni.cz) Department of Education, Faculty of Education, Czech Republic

17 Foucault, M. (1975). Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison. Paris: Gallimard. French, J., & Raven, B. (1960). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright & A. Zander (Eds.), Group Dynamics (pp. 259-269). New York: Harper and Row. McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1983). Power in the classroom I: Teacher and student perceptions. Communication Education, 32(2), 175-218. McCroskey, J. C., Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, L. L. (2006). An Introduction to Communication in the Classroom: The Role of Communication in Teaching and Training. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (Eds.) (1992). Power in the classroom. Communication, Control, and Concern. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum. Roach, K. D. (1995). Teaching assistant argumentativeness: Effects of affective learning and student perception on power use. Communication Education, 52, 259-276. Šalamounová, Z., & Švaříček, R. (2012). Komunikace z pohledu učitelů. (Communication from the point of view of teachers). In K. Šeďová, R. Švaříček, & Z. Šalamounová, Komunikace ve školní třídě (Communication in Classroom) (pp. 215-228). Praha: Portál. Sarason, S. B. (1990). The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform: Can We Change Course Before It's Too Late? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schrodt, P., Witt, P. L, & Turman, P. D. (2007). Reconsidering the measurement of teacher power use in the college classroom. Communication Education, 56(3), 308-323. Šeďová, K. (2011). Mocenské konstelace ve výukové komunikaci (Constellations of power in educational communication). Studia Paedagogica, 16(1), 89-118. Simmel, G. (1896). Superiority and Subordination as Subject-Matter of Sociology. American Journal of Sociology, 2 (2), 167-189. Staton, A. Q. (1992). Teacher and student concern and classroom power and control. In V. Richmond, & J. McCroskey, Power in the Classroom: Communication, Control and Concern (pp. 159-176). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived problems of beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 54, 143-178. Weber, M. (1922). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Tübingen: Mohr.


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