Classroom meeting a window into children's cultures /

by 1976- Eirich, Julie Marie

Abstract (Summary)
This ethnographic study examines classroom meetings within a progressive education classroom. Specifically the study takes place in an Informal first and second grade multi-age classroom that reflects the democratic ideals of progressive education. Informed by sociocultural theory, the researcher focuses on how the cultures of the classroom are co-constructed and reflected through the interactions of its participants. The everyday patterns of action and interaction establish the school and peer cultures distinct to the Informal classroom. The researcher used multiple methods of data collection to provide a lens for viewing each of these worlds. The methods include: daily audio recordings and participant observation notes, weekly collections of artifacts, quarterly grounded surveys, and small group interviews as needed. Distinctive in its progressive pedagogy, the teacher as an agent of school culture presents the norms and rituals that must be learned in order to be an Informal student. The school culture further reflects the teacher’s focal concerns as a progressive educator: a democratic education with an integration of the curriculum. While the teacher presents these norms, the students contribute their own input and ultimately daily life in negotiated as a coconstruction. Tracer units, such as the ritual of sharing, reveal the social construction of classroom action and discourse as the children create a distinct social history reflecting ii the common experiences they share with one another. Rituals also unveil the focal concerns that emerge with the construction of a peer culture. Fulfilling the role of a participant-observer, the researcher observes how a school culture event makes room for the peer culture to intersect creating opportunities for emergent literacy and for authentically assessing students’ social development. Ultimately, these intersections provide a place for relationships to develop and for the foundation of a classroom community to be co-constructed. Together, the children and the teacher of the classroom become keepers of the history, geography, and culture of the classroom community. Classroom meetings are more than just simple events; they are complex and culturally connected, offering its participants a potential of possibilities, including the chance to be part of something bigger than oneself. iii
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:classroom environment progressive education elementary educational sociology


Date of Publication:

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