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Classroom interaction in private schools serving low-income families in Hyderabad, India


Fay Smith 
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
fay.smith@ncl.ac.uk 

Frank Hardman 
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

James Tooley 
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

 

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Abstract

This paper reports on a study of classroom interaction and discourse in privately-funded schools serving low-income families in Hyderabad, India. In common with other developing countries, India has seen a proliferation of such schools and yet little systematic study has been made of them. One hundred and thirty eight lessons were analysed using a computerised systematic observation system; a further 20 lessons were video recorded and analysed using discourse analysis. The findings reveal patterns of classroom interaction and discourse similar to those reported in earlier studies of Indian government primary schools. Teacher-led recitation, rote and repetition dominated the classroom discourse with little attention being paid to securing pupil understanding. The wider implications of the findings for improving the quality of classroom discourse in Indian primary schools are considered together with the need for further research into how the wider social order is influencing pedagogic practices. 

Classroom interaction, observation, discourse, primary school, private education, India

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 Smith, F., Hardman, F. and Tooley, J. (2005) Classroom interaction in private schools serving low-income families in Hyderabad, India. International Education Journal, 6 (5), 607-618.
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