Phronesis in the Classroom, Or, Experimenting on Students: Experimenting as an End in Itself

Allison, N. (2017) Phronesis in the Classroom, Or, Experimenting on Students: Experimenting as an End in Itself. Go with the Flow: Coherence and Cohesion in EAP Discourse, St Andrews, UK, Feb 2017.

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The Hawthorne Effect has long been argued to be a confounding variable in social science research. This case study involved a series of pedagogical experiments on the coherence of language in written texts produced by students; an unexpected finding was the increased engagement and satisfaction of students in lesson activities that were experimental compared to non-experimental conditions, perhaps due to the Hawthorne Effect. This presentation sets out the background and aims of the experiments: uncovering factors that damage or improve English learners’ coherence in academic writing by using experimental activities to assess their impact on the quality of coherence. It then goes on to present a hypothesis linking the Hawthorne Effect to the philosophical concept of phronesis (practical virtue) and suggesting that research in the classroom is virtuous partly because it is highly likely to promote increased student satisfaction in learning: “quality depends on the degree to which attention is paid to it.” (Gieve and Miller 2006, 22)

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords:Coherence, academic writing, Hawthorne Effect, research methodology.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Allison, Mr Neil
Authors: Allison, N.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the author
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