Understanding learning across lessons in classroom communities: A multi-leveled analytic approach
This chapter presents a methodology for studying classroom communities as microcultures, with a focus on processes of teaching and learning over significant spans of time. In Sect. 11.1, we present a conceptual framework that treats classroom activity at two levels of analysis, collective and individual. Both levels are geared for understanding the reproduction and alteration of a common ground of talk and action through time. Key concerns are the emergence of collective norms and individuals’ use of representational forms to serve varied functions in classroom communicative and problem solving activity. In Sect. 11.2, we show how the conceptual framework was used to organize two related programs of empirical research. First, we present design research that led to a 19-lesson sequence on integers and fractions , which uses the number line as a central representational form. Second, we use the framework to organize an empirical analysis of a single classroom community over the 19-lesson sequence. We illustrate empirical techniques for capturing the reproduction and alteration of a common ground with shifting lesson topics. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the way the analytic approach illuminates core processes of teaching and learning and the utility of the approach for future work.