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Investigating how secondary school students learn to solve correlational problems: quantitative and qualitative discourse approaches to the development of self-regulation

Pergamon Press
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  • Linguistics


In this study we examined the transition from other to self-regulation by drawing on Vygotsky's general genetic law of cultural development and on Bakhtin's notion of genre appropriation. We attempted to replicate previous sociocultural research findings on the development of self-regulation with older students and a formal academic multiple-variant task. We aimed at extending this body of research by employing both qualitative and quantitative discourse analytic approaches. Ten secondary school students were individually tutored by their geography teacher in how to solve correlational problems. Every student worked with the teacher for about three hours and solved a minimum of seven correlational problems. All tutorial sessions were videotaped and subsequently transcribed. A coding scheme was developed and all instructional discourse was segmented and coded by two independent judges. On the whole, quantitative discourse analysis supported the notion of a transition from other to self-regulation in the area of correlational reasoning. Additionally, it was found that teacher regulation was differentiated within tasks and that certain properties of discourse influence how explicit student self-regulation is. Qualitative discourse analysis supported the notion of the assimilation of the voice of the teacher into the voice of the student. A three dimensional conception of learning is proposed and the implications of the study are discussed.

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