Teacher Roles in Implementing Co-operative Strategies in a Multicultural Class with Roma Children

By: Pavlina Louizou   Christos Govaris   Stavroula Kaldi  

This study focuses on teacher roles during the application of specific group cooperative strategies in a mixed ability class where students have different cultural backgrounds. The research is based on the principles of intercultural education and a theoretical framework of cooperative teaching and learning. Five (5) core co-operative teaching methods were implemented, covering both competitive and exclusively cooperative models of team behavior: (a) Teams-Games-Tournaments, (b) Complex Instruction, (c) Group Investigation, (d) Simulation and (e) Think-Pair-Share. It used a qualitative approach and a two-month action research project was applied in a multicultural 5th grade class of Volos, Greece, where both Roma and non-Roma students attended. The research tools for data collection were (a) the instructor researcher’s observation diary (fieldnotes) and (b) a team semi-structured interview with the students carried out by the instructor researcher. The results show that the instructor plays many different roles during the application of the aforementioned methods which have different impact on the students. In each of the five methods, a predominant role is highlighted. This role is determined by the number and qualitative assessment of specific reactions that the instructor displays while teaching. In each of the models the teacher role differed: motivator for Group Investigation and Simulation, wanderer for Complex Instruction and Think-Pair-Share and neutral presider for Teams-Games-Tournament. The results are discussed according to the structure of the five cooperative methods as well as the particular form of the class.

Teacher role, Action research, Multicultural class, Roma children, Cooperative learning
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Pavlina Louizou

Primary Schoool Teacher, Primary Education, Private School Ekpaideftiria G. Zois, Greece

Prof. Christos Govaris

University of Thessaly

Dr. Stavroula Kaldi

University of Thessaly

She conducted undergraduate studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece in Education and then postgraduate studies at Sussex University in the UK (MA and PhD in Education). Her doctoral theses focused on the project method of teaching in English and Greek primary schools regarding the promotion of the European Dimension. She worked as a pre-school and primary school teacher in English schools as well as in Greek schools of the Hellenic societies in the UK. Later, she taught ‘Comparative Education’, ‘European Dimension in Education’, ‘Teaching Methodology’ and ‘Intercultural Education’ in undergraduate courses at the following Universities: Aegean University, University of Thessaly and University of Peloponnese in Greece. Her postdoctoral research interests include a) students concept maps about Europe, b) cross-curricular teaching of the contemporary art in primary schools, c) multicultural paradigms of teaching in primary schools, d) primary school teachers understanding and application of the cross-curricular and project method teaching approaches. Presently she is a senior lecturer on ‘Teaching Methodology’ at the University of Thessaly, she is in charge in two out of four stages of the teaching practice for pre-service trainee teachers and involved in a large scale research project about school prospects and teaching the roma children in Greece.