Social Interaction as Educational Practice


Research in this field entails detailed analyses of the social interaction taking place between various actors (children, students, teachers, instructors and other professional representatives, parents and other adults, as well as physical artefacts) within the framework of different spatial and social contexts (such as the classroom, the preschool’s foyer, the waiting line for the computer, or the cabin of a driving school’s car) and in different communicative activities.

Analyses focus on various discursive processes involving education as well as its local social and institutional orders, and often have a firm anchoring in the lifeworldly features of the participants’ actions.

Research themes within the various projects include:

  • multilingualism
  • peer group interaction
  • specific instructional activities
  • mundane mathematics
  • social relations
  • social interaction and mobility

Social interaction in educational settings can be understood through different theoretical perspectives. Research within this field is informed by work in ethnomethodology, sociology of childhood, sociology of education, as well as post-humanist and didactic perspectives.  

Research in this field shares an interest in the situated aspects of social interaction: talk, multimodal interaction and other forms of social conduct are studied in their natural contexts.

The methodological and analytical approaches that are used reflect the field’s interdisciplinary character and include for example conversation analysis, membership categorization analysis (MCA), ethnography and phenomenography, as well as other microsociological perspectives.

Many researchers in this field collaborate with other research groups, including:

School of Early Childhood at Queensland University of Technology

Faculty of Education, University of Waikato

Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, University of Oslo 

Related Content