Whyte, B., Fraser, D., Aitken, V., and Price, G. (2012). Interactive group activity: a socially mediated tool for opening an interpretive space in classroom research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, article published online: 21 Sep 2012.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6791
An ongoing challenge in classroom research is to understand children’s perspectives on their learning. While learning is highly individual, it is also significantly social and this raises methodological challenges. An Interactive Group Activity (IGA) is one of several data collection strategies used during the action research phase of the Connecting Curriculum, Connecting Learningproject (2010–2011) focusing on arts-based curriculum integration. This article concentrates on the IGA tool as a means of uncovering children’s meaning making following an extended period of learning. Of particular note is the use of an arts pedagogical device to introduce the IGA to children, a device that frames the purpose of the task. In effect, the IGA acts as a group assessment device underlining the socially mediated nature of children’s learning. This article describes how the IGA tool evolved, gives its form and structure, argues for its affordances and suggests possibilities for its wider use.
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