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A social identity approach to learning with classroom technologies

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  • L Education (General)
  • Lb Theory And Practice Of Education
  • Lb2300 Higher Education
  • Lb2361 Curriculum
  • Design
  • Psychology


This inter-disciplinary study develops a group level approach to learning design and practice in the classroom. This is supported by the use of technology to support learners in their collaborative development of questions. General use of these technologies has tended to focus on tutors setting questions and students responding. This thesis explores a more sophisticated view of these technologies using a student-generated perspective. Five case studies are presented including induction, professional development and placement review. These cases are each in different contexts. This study also develops a group-level concept of learning design. This approach has a structural view of group learning which consists of different ways of organising interaction amongst the whole class. In addition, it also has a psychological view of group learning based around the psychological impact of group membership and different group-level perspectives. This is in contrast with conventional instructional design approaches to pedagogy which are based on representative individuals. In response to this group-level approach, this study reviews individual and socio-cultural theories of learning on order to understand the interaction between individual and whole-group perspectives which are a feature of this practice. Social Identity theory is added to this as a potential bridge between these different theoretical frameworks. Shared Thinking, the name given to this group-level practice, completes the design, theory and practice framework of this study. This practice points to the pedagogical complexity implied by new uses of classroom technologies discussed in this study. The combination of an instrumentalist and a social psychological aspect of pedagogy illustrate this complexity based around the development and manipulation of a shared sense of identity. The tutor’s role therefore combines management of the process with the curation of social identity.

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