Primary pupils' identification of listening behaviour in others

Cohen, Joan (1989) Primary pupils' identification of listening behaviour in others. Masters thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic. [Thesis]

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The aim of the study was exploratory: to discover which characteristics of behaviour young children recognize as indicative of listening in others. Although there has been previous research into listening, there is virtually none into children's own ideas of what listening means. Several questions were formulated which embodied the objectives of the research.

The subjects were drawn from an East Barnet primary school. Three age cohorts were formed, each of sixteen children (eight boys, eight girls). Cohort I consisted of the youngest children - reception class infants in their first term of formal school; Cohort II consisted of junior children in the middle of their primary schooling; Cohort III consisted of children in their last term of primary education. To obtain a different perspective, sixteen primary teachers were offered some of the same stimulus materials and their responses were compared with those made by the children.

The subjects were presented with two kinds of stimulus: picture recognition tasks and activities with dolls. They were asked to say who was listening in the pictures and how they could tell that they were listening. The children were asked to arrange the dolls in listening postures. They were also interviewed.

Results showed a development in the children's descriptions of listening behaviour, both linguistically and socially. The findings were inconclusive in showing any differences between boys and girls. Older children, by their negative descriptions of listening, demonstrated the socializing influence exercised presumably by the school.

The conclusions have implications for teachers to become increasingly aware of their pupils' perspective: children in school may not share their teachers' expectations of Iistening behaviour; teachers need to recognize the significance of
nonverbal messages in an interaction. Pupils, for their part, need guidance to realize their role as a reactive listener in a teaching situation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13471
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 14:55
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 03:31

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