Knowledge disagreement formulations in problem-based learning tutorials: balancing pedagogical demands with ‘saving face’

McQuade, R. , Wiggins, S., Ventura-Medina, E. and Anderson, T. (2018) Knowledge disagreement formulations in problem-based learning tutorials: balancing pedagogical demands with ‘saving face’. Classroom Discourse, 9(3), pp. 227-243. (doi: 10.1080/19463014.2018.1495089)

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As a pedagogical approach that aims to develop students' group-working skills and to challenge their current knowledge, problem-based learning (PBL) provides a unique setting in which to examine disagreements in interaction. Previous research on disagreements in classrooms have typically examined tutor-student interaction or student-student interaction in which a tutor is present. The current paper, however, examines tutorless PBL tutorials and focuses specifically on those moments in which knowledge claims are challenged by other students. The data comprise of 30 hours of video recordings from 24 chemical engineering PBL tutorials in a Scottish university. Conversation analysis was used to identify 101 disagreement formulations, many of which follow the format seen in other classroom settings (e.g. agreement-prefaced disagreements). A subset of disagreement formulations manage epistemic responsibility through invoking expert sources (e.g. tutor-provided worksheets and academically superior out-group members). Through invoking an expert source in this way, students attend to the pedagogical activities - without tutor assistance - while minimising the conversational trouble associated with the act of 'doing' disagreement (i.e. indirectly enacting disagreements whilst maintaining a neutral stance). This paper thus contributes to CA literature on disagreements, while providing a unique insight into PBL tutorial interaction. Directions for future research are suggested.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Award (EPSRC) [grant number 1827113].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mcquade, Mr Robert
Authors: McQuade, R., Wiggins, S., Ventura-Medina, E., and Anderson, T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Classroom Discourse
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1946-3022
Published Online:16 August 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Classroom Discourse 9(3):227-243
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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