Academic help-seeking interactions in primary school classrooms: A micro-longitudinal study

25th January 2021 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Webinar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Kyle Davison, University of Oxford

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Convener: Lars-Erik Malmberg

Audience: Public

Please register in advance for this webinar, at this link.

There is growing interest among education researchers in the analysis of learning processes, and the field of help-seeking may benefit from adopting this approach. Help-seeking research has tended to infer behaviour from post hoc reflections or experimental procedures outside of the classroom context, limiting our understanding of actual helping behaviour in the classroom. To address this gap, the present study adopted an intraindividual (end-of-each-lesson self-report) design to examine the academic help-seeking interactions (help-seeking and help-giving) of 347 students (aged 8.2 to 11.5 years) across 14.2 lessons. Multilevel analyses of the two-level hierarchical questionnaire data (situations nested within students) indicated that situational experiences (e.g. need for help, understanding, difficulty, and effort) during learning tasks were significant predictors of teacher and peer help-seeking interactions, and of the type of help sought and given by students. Individual differences were found to explain associations at the situation level. High performing girls for whom English is their first language were more likely than their classmates to seek and give help to peers. Conversely, students with special educational needs and disabilities, and students for whom English is an additional language (EAL) were more likely to engage in avoidant behaviours, such as not seeking help from peers and ignoring help requests. EAL students were more likely to be involved in expedient (nonadaptive) help-seeking interactions, such as asking for and giving the answer.