Science of Learning Research Centre

SLRC Seminar Series – Capturing the Vibe: Connectedness in the classroom

Date: Thursday 9th November 2017

Time:  4.30 – 6.00pm (45 minute presentation, 15 minutes question time followed by 30 minutes tea/coffee)

Venue: Level 7 Seminar Room, Queensland Brain Institute (Building #79) The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus

Speaker: Stephanie MacMahon, The University of Queensland and Science of Learning Research Centre

Capturing the Vibe: The development of a matrix for engineering connectedness in the classroom

The classroom is a highly social environment with participants innately synchronizing their behaviours, thoughts and feelings with like others as a means of establishing connection. Experiencing a sense of connection in the classroom – a connection between teachers and learners, between learners, and to the learning experience – is the outcome of shared actions, thoughts and feelings as groups work towards a shared goal, and has been shown to be an important aspect of effective teaching and learning. This sense of connection, or social synchrony, can occur spontaneously, but it can also be engineered. However, the development and maintenance of connection in the classroom is often left to chance or considered an outcome of teaching experience, with many teachers – particularly novice teachers – not prepared for or aware of the challenges of engineering a socially synchronized learning environment. Through an exploration of the experience of socially connected learning environments, a Social Synchrony Matrix has been developed and trialled to support teacher awareness, knowledge and practice surrounding the establishment of social synchrony in the classroom. This presentation will provide an overview of this PhD study and share the findings and development of the matrix.

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