Listen To The Silence: The Left-Behind Phenomenon As Seen Through Classroom Videos And Teachers’ Reflections
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Hagar Gal, Fou-Lai Lin and Jia-Ming Ying
This study uses classroom videotapes to examine the phenomenon of students who are left behind during whole-class teaching. Zooming in via these videos enabled us to analyze these classroom situations by means of a compact, multi-perspective set of theories – van Hiele theory, conceptualization, and visual perception. The analysis provided a picture of the classroom interaction in which the sound of silence of those students who might not share understanding during the class discourse is ignored. Based on a sample of Taiwanese junior high school geometry classes, the study demonstrated how investigating situations of silence uncovered the possibility of teachers’ unawareness of student difficulties or their unsuccessful efforts to cope with them. Teachers’ post-lesson interviews and questionnaires shed additional light on the perspective of left-behind students. Implications of this method for pre- and in-service teachers’ programs are briefly discussed, and some recommendations for change are proposed.