Negotiating Communication in the classroom
‘What does she expect me to do, when she didn’t even tell me?’
(Learning Journal Entry, 18th October 2012)
Meltzoff (1994) suggests that a key component in the classroom is communication. Through thorough exploration of our Learning Journal extracts, we have identified the value of negotiating communication in the classroom to be a crucial element of our experiences in school. We will explore this further through reflection, evaluation and wider reading.
Meltzoff (1994) recognises that ‘Teachers and students share ‘ownership’ of the space, time, language, and curricular content of the class.’ (1994:263) As a result, we evaluated the distribution of responsibility, and questioned, should teachers be the main communicator within the classroom? On reflection we acknowledged the requirement for a balance and compromise between the control and responsibility of communication. Cleary (2003) identifies communication as being ‘a two-way process that results in a shared meaning or common understanding between the sender and the receiver.’ (2003:11) This two-way process pivots on the relationship between communicators. Murdoch and Wilson (2008) identify that ‘two important communication skills are active listening and assertive speaking.’ (2008:12) In order to negotiate communication successfully we have acknowledged the need for a balance of speaking and listening within the classroom, between both teacher-teaching assistant and teacher-pupil.
Kay (2005) states that ‘Teaching assistants need to be competent and effective communicators’ (2005:46) this is paramount when working with pupils, ensuring the teacher is aware of any arising concerns. However the accountability remains with the teacher to negotiate and set firm foundations in order for effective communication between the teacher and teaching assistant. This is supported by Briggs and Cunningham (2013) who draw attention to the responsibility of the teacher...
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