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Exploring educational interactions : a lesson for the development of interdisciplinary working?

McGinley, Brian and Grieve, Ann (2011) Exploring educational interactions : a lesson for the development of interdisciplinary working? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 63 (1). pp. 47-56. ISSN 1363-6820

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This paper reports a small‐scale study exploring the communicative interactions of secondary teachers and community educators with colleagues and learners in educational environments. This research is conducted in a changing educational landscape where there is a more holistic approach to education being adopted and where an extended Scottish curriculum is encompassing students from age 3 to 18. In this study, the reported incidents of communication relate to developing and maintaining relationships, and attending to issues of power and status. While there were clear similarities in the themes uncovered in both sectors, there were major differences concerning power and status. In the formal sector, educators reported matters regarding their status and position within the organisation, whereas informal educators were more concerned with aspects of power relating to the young people. These differences may reflect a disparity in cultural and organisational values that, if recognised and acted upon, could help to nourish aspects of interdisciplinary working to further enhance the educational experiences of young people.