An analytical study of the utilization of classroom verbal interaction in social studies teaching in the secondary schools of the State of Bahrain

Al-Mosawi, Nasser Hussain

September 1988

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© 1988 Nasser Hussain Al-Mosawi. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Analyzing Classroom Verbal Interaction (CVI) by means of systematic observation is not receiving sufficient attention in the field of education in Bahrain. The present study aims mainly at finding out the actual situation in the field of the utilization of CVI skills in the teaching of social studies in the secondary schools of Bahrain and at helping to develop such utilization by means of the "Verbal Interaction Category System" (VICS) of Amidon and Hunter as a systematic observation technique.

The study embraces nine chapters in addition to the presentation of a summary and recommendations. It uses two research methods, descriptive and
experimental. It is designed to examine four null hypotheses concerning the utilization of CVI skills in connection with: Sex, Qualification, Years of Experience and Teaching Subjects. All social studies teachers in the secondary schools of Bahrain are the subjects of the study.

A multi-stage field work project has been designed and carried out. It embraces a questionnaire; two observations of the CVI performance; and a training programme for the experimental group by means of an instructional module along with a pre-test and a post-test.

The findings of the first observation (prior to the training programme) indicate: (a) the lecturing style is still regarded as the favourite teaching format in the teaching of social studies in the secondary stage of schooling in Bahrain; (b) the absence of most CVI skills; (c) CVI generally takes place between the teacher and the pupils rather than between the pupils themselves; and (d) the wide use of narrow questions which mainly require the eliciting of factual information. The findings of the second observation (post- the training programme) indicate that the training programme by means of the instructional module had greatly helped the experimental group teachers to improve and develop their understanding and use of CVI skills, particularly in connection with the categories relating to: pupil initiated talk to another pupil; pupil response to another pupil; teacher asking broad questions; pupil responding unpredictably; teacher accepting behaviour; teacher accepting feeling, silence; and pupil initiated talk to teacher.

It has been recommended that teacher training programmes include a special topic dealing with CVI by means of the systematic observation technique. It has also been recommended that special attention be given to the use of a variety of teaching strategies, particularly those which create positive verbal interaction in the classroom. and to the formulation and use of a variety of oral questions with an emphasis upon those dealing with high level cognitive processes.

Department of Educational Studies, The University of Hull
McClelland, V. Alan
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