A cross-cultural analysis of disagreements in classroom discourse: Comparative case studies from England, the United States, and Israel

Hadar Netz 1  and Adam Lefstein 2
  • 1 School of Education, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
  • 2 Department of Education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva, Israel
Hadar Netz
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  • Hadar Netz is a Lecturer in the Program for Multilingual Education of the School of Education at Tel-Aviv University. Her main research interests are classroom discourse and its relation to learning opportunities as well as social issues in the encoding of gender in discourse.
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and Adam Lefstein
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  • Adam Lefstein is Associate Professor in Education at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Director of the Laboratory for the Study of Pedagogy. He researches pedagogy, classroom interaction, teacher learning, and educational change. His book Better than best practice: Developing teaching and learning through dialogue, co-written with Julia Snell, was published in 2014 by Routledge.
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Abstract

How do cultural and institutional factors interact in shaping preference structures? This paper presents a cross-cultural analysis of disagreements in three different classroom settings: (1) a year 6 (ages 11–12) mainstream class in England, (2) a fifth-grade class of gifted students in the United States, and (3) a fourth-grade mainstream class in Israel. The aim of the study is to investigate how disagreements are enacted in these settings, exploring the influence of cultural communicative norms on the one hand and pedagogical goals and norms on the other. The study highlights culture-specific discursive patterns that emerge as the teacher and students manage a delicate balance between often clashing cultural and educational motives.

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