Exploring the notion of 'pedagogical space' through students' writings about a classroom community of practice

Year: 2004

Author: Brown, Ray

Type of paper: Refereed paper

A classroom community of practice has been described in terms of the shared resources and practices used by its participants. One such resource is the organization of pedagogical spaces within the classroom. In an extensive study that employed detailed analyses of video/audio-taped participant interactions, teacher/student journal entries, student-seating patterns and questionnaires, a major interest was in finding student descriptions that assist educators to recognise spaces within the classroom community that facilitate learning. This paper explores written descriptions provided by self-described high and average-ability students as they participated in a primary mathematics classroom over one semester. Student descriptions are analysed in accordance with conditions identified as being conducive to establishing pedagogic spaces such as the nature of participants' interactions, discursive practices employed, the collective nature of learning, and teacher promoted practices. Implications are drawn regarding the efficacy of the notion of 'pedagogical space' for researching learning in the domain of mathematics.