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Differences in interaction within primary lessons: subject area and gender comparisons

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fay SmithORCiD, Dr Frank Hardman, Steven Higgins


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The authors have developed a computerised system which records interaction between teachers and pupils in the primary classroom: the Classroom Interaction System (CIS) (Smith and Hardman, 2003). The aim of this paper is to provide further evidence of the different discourse moves used within numeracy and literacy lessons in England (with a matched teacher sample), but also to outline further developments to the CIS which have resulted in a much richer dataset than previously reported. The frequency and duration of certain discourse moves (e.g. Open question, Explanation) were recorded across 116 lessons. The modifications we have made to CIS allow us to investigate questions such as: Are there gender differences in the number of questions answered by pupils? Does the nature of these questions, and the nature of the resultant feedback, differ by pupil gender? Where a spontaneous contribution is made by a pupil, was it procedural or curricular in nature? And what kinds of evaluation are dominant in the primary classroom: praise, criticism, or simple acceptance? The findings will be discussed with reference to existing research in this area, along with possible implications for classroom pedagogy, and teacher training.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith F, Hardman F, Higgins S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Year of Conference: 2004