Collaborative play making using ill-structured problems: Effect on pre-service language teachers’ beliefs

| June 1, 2012
Title
Collaborative play making using ill-structured problems: Effect on
pre-service language teachers beliefs

Keywords: Teaching, Context, Practice, TESOL Teacher, Japan

Authors
Stan Pederson
Kumamoto University, Japan.

Bio Data
Stan Pederson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Kumamoto University, Japan.

Abstract
Much previous research has shown beliefs to be resistant to change. Furthermore, when exposed to conflicting information, studies have also shown that people are likely to use it selectively to reinforce existing beliefs, the so-called biased assimilation effect. This paper describes a classroom procedure built around collaborative play making, and investigates its impact on the beliefs of pre-service teachers in Japan. Themes were based on ill-structured problems, professionally and personally significant dilemmas amenable to no single or simple solution. Participants were first presented with contrasting views by way of readings. This was followed by pair discussions. At the next stage groups generated multiple perspectives on the issues through collaborative play making. A pre and post-test survey measuring beliefs clustered around the central topic showed approximately 25% of responses shifting across the agree/disagree divide. In addition, students did not show biased assimilation: even excluding changes in polarity, beliefs were at least as likely to moderate as to become more extreme. The results were stable over two cycles of the procedure.
[private] See page: 116 – 140

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Special Editions, Volume 14 Issue 2