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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr. Andrew Joyce-Gibbons

Joyce-Gibbons, A. (2017). Observe, interact and act: teachers’ initiation of mini-plenaries to scaffold small-group collaboration. Technology, Pedagogy and Education 26(1): 51-68.

Author(s) from Durham


Mini-plenaries, the shift in discussion from group to class and then back to group during the course of a small-group collaborative activity, have long been part of the repertoire of teachers. Despite this, they are not considered in detail in the research into teacher orchestration or classroom interaction. This article explores the behaviours of two teachers prior to their decision to initiate a mini-plenary. It considers the impact of technology and classroom conditions on this decision. It also looks at the impact of mini-plenaries on student learning and discusses what the initiation of a mini-plenary may signify within the current theoretical framing of classroom orchestration and teacher–student interaction.