Learning Conversations

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Conversation analyses of learning interactions in schools

Focus and scope

Focus on understanding interactions in educational settings aimed at learning, learning support, and psychological support. Specific aims include using conversation analysis methods to study interactions inside and outside classrooms, between teachers and learners, and among learners.

Theoretical importance

New perspectives on interactional learning are being uncovered with the use of conversation analysis methods. These go beyond the social value of conversations to help us understand the institutional makings of interactions aimed at promoting learning.

Research completed

M.Ed. Minor dissertation reports completed 2011:
Caryn Bachrach – adolescent conversations about gender-based violence
Morag Andresen – conversations about sensitive topics in a life orientation class
Sanisha Naidoo – conversations among grade five learners about Aids
Danielle Forsyth – conversations in sand play therapy
Adele Pullen – goal setting conversations in classroom
Moms Metsing – conversations between an adolescent girl and a traditional healer
Girlie Twaibane – conversations between mothers and daughters about sex and sexuality
Janice Peters – conversations in maths problem solving
Catherine Johnston – help seeking conversations
Gert van der Westhuizen – reading comprehension conversations
Helen Dunbar-Krige – conversations in families about school

Educational Psychology Publications

Book published and in the process of publication:

Bheamadu, C., Fritz, E., Pillay, J. 2012. The Experiences of Self Injury Amongst Adolescents and Young Adults within a South African Context. Journal of Psychology in Africa 2012, 22(2), 263–268

Magano, D.M., Mostert, P. and van der Westhuizen, G. J. 2010. Learning Conversations. Heinemann, Cape Town.

Van der Westhuizen, G. J. (submitted for publication). Gespreksvorme in hoëronderwysklaskamers – ‘n herwaardering. (Forms of conversation in higher education classrooms – a re-appreciation).

Van der Westhuizen, G. J. (under preparation for publication). Comprehension display and the organisation of interaction in reading a text.

Van der Westhuizen, G. J. (under preparation for publication). Reading comprehension interactions – a conversation analysis perspective

Van der Westhuizen, G. J. (under preparation for publication). Die taalonderrigimplikasies van interaksiestudies en gespreksnavorsing. (The language teaching implications of conversation analysis research).