Palincsar (1999) - The use of data (The variations in the identities and…
Palincsar (1999) - The use of data
The theoretical background
Bruffee's (1993) notion of transition communities
Specifically, this article explores what the video excerpts reveal about several features of transition communities and the challenges these features pose for those of us who are interested in the design and analysis of transition communities from a socio-cultural perspective.
Two issues explored
The personal issue that I explore is one of identity in learning and development.
The role of the coach in this transition community
We all need a sense of power or status on one hand and a sense of solidarity or interpersonal connection on the other. These dual agendas are always present among transition communities. The exchange initiated by Betty may be illustrative of this phenomenon.
She makes a 58-word utterance, which is actually quite long in comparison with the mean length of the utterances of her colleagues.
The variations in the identities and changing identities of community members can be explored in several ways.
Previously participated discourse communities will likely to position participants differently in this transition community.
Norman's utterances are often in the form of affirmations.
Betty is taking the most significant risks in the dialogue, speaking in complete sentences, and offering more grist for the discussion than all of the other members of the group combined.
For some of the participants in this particular transition community, their identity as a member of medical practice seems quite emergent; for others, it appears more well developed.
For instance, in response to the coach's question regarding the difference between a TIA and a stroke...
Jenny tentatively quotes from two medical texts concluding with I do not know.
Betty in contrast seems more ready to assume the identity of the discourse community to which she aspires.
But what about the young woman at the end of the table (i.e., Lill) who makes neither verbal or non-verbal contributions to the group. What is her participation in this community.
The pivotal role that the coach plays in the exchange among the group
For example, four of the participants in lines 17-31 are offering their conjectures as to the location of the hippocampus when the coach, in line 33, helps the group find an appropriate view in which to find the hippocampus.
In lines 124-126, the coach plays a pivotal role in modeling the process of building an argument when he urges the students to consider the differences between a stroke and a TIA as a means of evaluating the evidence in favor of one or the other diagnosis.
Finally, as the dialogue bogs down and approaches a near standstill around line 152, it is the coach who breathes new life into the conversation with his question, "So which one did he ha:ve?"