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INTERFACH at ECER 2023 (Glasgow)

The research training group INTERFACH organised a double symposium on ECER 2023 in Glasgow in the context of Network 27: „Didactics: Teaching and Learning“. During the first part of the symposium the participants discussed conceptual and methodological tools which can direct classroom research towards the investigation of „the interaction order of classrooms and the challenge of subject-related teaching and learning”, as the title of the symposium announced. Nicolaj Elft (University of Southern Denmark) spoke about “Dialogical, phenomenological and post-human approaches”, Marie Nilsberth (Karlstad University) presented a paper on “Investigating Tensions between the Interaction Order and Subject Teaching in Screen-mediated Plenary Teaching“ and Johanna Leicht and Georg Breidenstein (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) gave an introduction to some of the main ideas of INTERFACH, providing an empirical example from the INTERFACH video study as well. Matthias Martens (University of Cologne) provided some interesting and thoughtful commentaries on the three presentations for discussion. Especially the question “How can one distinguish between interaction order and subject learning: Is there subject learning outside the interaction order of the classroom?” had a stimulating effect on the discussion.

For the second part of the symposium INTERFACH had prepared a math lesson from the video study, including whole class teaching captured by a teacher camera as well as a students‘ deskwork videotaped by an action camera. Transcripts were provided in English. We had asked Marte Blikstad-Balas (University of Oslo) from the QUINT-Project to rate the lesson by means of the PLATO-manual which is used in QUINT. Florence Ligozat (University of Geneva) was asked to analyse the lesson with the conceptual tools of the Joint Action of Didactics framework, and Tanya Tyagunova (Martin Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg) and Patrick Schreyer (University of Kassel) presented two different qualitative interpretations on a micro level of interaction. This little methodological experiment was really exciting in its outcome: Within the lense of PLATO the lesson scored quite poorly, not very explicit in its purpose, not very much of „classroom discourse“ at all. Florence Ligozat pointed out that there are multiple interaction spaces at the same time, if we go for the students cameras. Also, she identified different didactic contracts which can be observed when „breaches“ occur. Patrick Schreyer was looking for the alignment of students to the task on a micro level, and Tanya Tyagunova showed a possible mathematical misunderstanding which was embedded in the task construction on the blackboard – but not problematized by the participants. Of course, there was not enough time to discuss the relationship of the different perspectives and results of the analysis in detail, but all participants of the symposium agreed that this experiment was really worth it and was calling for a follow up.

Given the fact that this double symposium was the very last session of the conference (on Friday afternoon), it was well attended (more than 20 participants) and for INTERFACH it worked really well in strengthening our international cooperation.

(by Prof. Dr. Georg Breidenstein, September 2023)