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‘All in Favour, Say Aye!’ Voting in Pupils’ Collaborative Talk

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This paper draws on the findings of an Economic and Social Research Council and British Telecom-funded project which explored the teaching of collaborative talk in the secondary English classroom. During the analysis of the video data collected, voting was observed as a strategy in pupils’ collaborative decision-making. Converse to its democratic purpose, the vote was often initiated as a means of dominating or controlling the outcome of a collaborative task. Yet, some pupils challenged the use of the vote as their awareness of collaborative talk processes developed. In one group, the vote appeared to ‘scaffold’ the participation of a reluctant collaborator. Through the presentation of transcripts, this paper explores the nature and implications of the vote as used by pupils in collaborative talk. It contributes to understanding of pupils’ independent talk in the classroom and prompts consideration of the vote as a productive tool in pupils’ decision-making.
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Keywords: collaborative talk; secondary English teaching; voting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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