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The programme consists of extracts from a BBC-KCTV documentary film called "Space Between Words: School" directed by Roger Graef, in which a teacher is seen in five separate sessions with... her English class in a London Comprehensive School. The class members vary in their ability. Generally speaking they are excitable and easily distracted from the purpose of the lesson. The film, chosen because of its unsurpassed unobtrusive camera work, shows a rich variety of interactions between the teacher and the whole class, the teacher and individual pupils and between the pupils. The commentary limits itself to some general remarks on the range of possible methods of recording interactions, although there are several sequences in which an activity on the part of the student is suggested. There are further suggestions for student activity and full background notes on the class and the teaching methods used, in the notes that accompany the broadcast.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: E201, Personality and learning
Item code: E201; 16
First transmission date: 25-09-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:20
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Producer: Meg Sheffield
Contributors: Margaret Dobson; John Oates; Dick Suchman; Roger Graef
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): English class; Flanders categories; London Comprehensive School; Recording interactions; Teacher/class interaction; Teacher/pupil interaction; Unobtrusive camera
Footage description: Over film of a class assembling, John Oates explains that the programme will observe the classroom interactions of five lessons taken by Maggie Dobson. He suggests what students may like to look for in the programme. Dobson is observed trying to establish control of the class, which is very boisterous. In voice-over Oates explains that it is the first day of term. The class begin writing. In the same class the following day, Dobson reads the class a story. Oates explains that a time marker will appear on the screen at intervals, enabling students to analyse interaction between teacher and pupils in terms of Flanders categories. Dobson questions the class on the story. Dick Suchman, an American researcher, interviews girls who have just participated in Dobson's English class. They are unenthusiastic about it. In the next lesson to be observed, Dobson continues the discussion of the story from the day before. The time-marker appears on the screen, and Oates suggests that students look for Flanders category 5. One boy in the class is observed, and Suchman asks him a few general questions. Dobson takes the class for discussion of an aspect of current affairs. The time marker appears to enable students to look for Flanders category 7. The class is fragmented and unruly. In voice-over Oates explains the inadequacy of the interview method of obtaining information. After the discussion class, Suchman asks some of the pupils for their opinion of it. They are unenthusiastic. The final lesson involves the reading of a poem, followed by discussion. In voice-over, Oates comments that Dobson's class is fairly typical of urban secondary schools. He also comments on the difficulty of obtaining information about classroom interaction.
Master spool number: 6HT/72008
Production number: 00525_6110
Videofinder number: 559
Available to public: no