Improving interaction and participation: Leadership development in the collaborative classroom

Year: 2007

Author: MacCallum, Judith, Morcom, Veronica

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Sociocultural pedagogies such as collaborative learning, are based on a set of assumptions about the centrality of communicative processes, interpersonal skills and community formation in the development of individual higher mental functions. Student leadership also assumes the development of effective communication and interpersonal skills as the social networks created support the ongoing social and emotional growth of each child and the improvement of interaction and participation within the classroom community.

This paper is based on research conducted in two primary classrooms where the first author was the teacher in 2004 and 2007. Initially, the focus of the research in the first classroom was on building peer relationships. Then part way through the year the teacher researcher identified ‘leadership’ as a motivation for changes in participation (Morcom, 2005). This became the focus for the research in the second classroom at a second school. Changes in interaction and participation in these classrooms are illustrated through the leadership journeys of three students, Lindsay and Judy from the 2004 class and Anna from the 2007.