The mutability of pedagogical practice and space use: a case study of collaborative learning and classroom space in a Chinese primary school

Xi Wang, Ting Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article presents findings from a case study of a public primary school in China regarding the mutually constitutive relationship between classroom space and collaborative learning. The research employed qualitative coding methods to interpret the meanings of 17 teachers’ interview transcripts. The findings reveal that although collaborative learning was promoted by the national curriculum reform and required in the school, most participants were reluctant to depart from the conventional pattern of space use to facilitate this pedagogy. Their motivations for seeking alternatives were affected by compressed classroom space and undermined by the pressures of coping with the prescribed curriculum, performance evaluation, and traditional values of harmony and compliance in workplaces. As a compromise, they applied collaborative learning within a deliberately planned and controlled context. The study suggests a need for expanding learning space in Chinese public schools and nourishing teachers’ critical reflexivity about approaches to learning and space use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
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DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2020

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