conceptual framing by fjzhangweiqun


									What (if anything) about framing?
      Is it significant?
  Do we need to consider it?
              Jim Greeno
  SC Thrust coding/analysis workshop
             May 27, 2011
                         Two issues:

• Discourse and learning happen at multiple levels — should we
  make that explicit?

• Parsing can foreground interpersonal aspects of interaction or
  content (What kind of interaction happened? Or What idea or
  information got added to common ground?)

• Of course, we shouldn’t try to do everything at once. But
  perhaps it’s good if we keep track of what we’re leaving for
  future work.
           Why framing may be an important issue

• For communication to succeed, the parties need to be taking perspectives
   that are aligned (Rommetveit). RR’s example:
   “Is Mr. Smith working?” (To a golfing partner: “No, he’s mowing the lawn.”
              That is, he’s not at his office.)
         (To a nosy neighbor: “Yes, he’s mowing the lawn.” (That is, he’s not
              still sleeping.)
• When learning includes conceptual change, most learners probably lack
   resources that could support framing that is aligned with the perspective
   intended by the information source (teacher, textbook, program, or
• Maybe resources for framing — and reframing — are important as
   prerequisites — different from component skills.
                          Aspects of Framing

• In general, framings are participants’ understandings of “What is it that’s
  going on here?” (Goffman)
• One aspect is positional framing, also called positioning, participant
  structure, or participant framework. What kinds of things is each
  participant entitled, expected, or obligated to do in the activity, in relation
  to each other and to the concepts and methods of the subject matter
  domain? (Bateson, Goffman, Tannen, O’Connor & Michaels, Pickering,
  Engle & Conant, others)
• Another aspect is epistemological framing . What kinds of knowledge and
  information are relevant for the activity, and what kinds of information
  need to be constructed to succeed in the activity? (Hammer, Engle, others)
• Third, there is conceptual framing. How are the participants organizing the
  information that is involved in the activity — what is in the foreground,
  what is “off the screen”? (Gestalt psychologists, Rommetveit,
How Can Participants with Misaligned Framings Fix the

• Becoming aligned with others’ communicative intentions is
  probably a built-in motivational tendency. When framings are
  aligned, it works easily (cf. Rommetveit’s Mrs. Smith). When
  they aren’t, there’s a need for (deep) repair.
• In examples involving conceptual framing that I’ve studied,
  there is a significant effort by one or more of the participants
  to adopt or construct a framing that is aligned with another
  participant. Call that participant an inquirer. Someone or
  something (e.g., a computer simulation or text material)
  functions as a source.
         Two Ways to Repair Misalignment

1. The inquirer recognizes that the source’s framing
   corresponds to a schema that the inquirer knows, and the
   inquirer adopts this schema.
2. The inquirer doesn’t know or recognize a schema, but
   constructs a framing by questioning the source, assembling a
   framing by constraint satisfaction consistent with the
   information obtained from the source.

   Note: when learning requires conceptual change, by
   definition the learner needs to be an inquirer in Case 2.
                          An example

• The setting: an 8th-grade algebra class, late in the year, in a
  unit on quadratic equations. (handout p. 1)

  Ms. S.’s plan: define a variable (say, w) as the width of the
  borders, so
       (72-2w)(40-2w) = 1680,
  solve for w, then find length and width of the inner rectangle,
  then the perimeter, then how many laps = .25 mi.

• Students did not respond to her invitation to take the next
  step in her plan.
• Gillian volunteered, and Ms. Sanchez positioned her as a
  source, with herself as an inquirer (handout p. 2)

  Gillian’s information was hard for Ms. S to fit in her framing;
  the variables in Gillian’s foreground were in Ms. S’s

  Ms. S mentioned a constraint (write an equation).
• Gillian wrote expressions
        (72-y)/2 and (40-x)/2 .

  It was accepted that these referred to the horizontal vertical
  widths of the border (handout pp. 3-4).
• Hannah supplied an equation
      xy = 1680 (turn 46),
  which Gillian wrote on the whiteboard (turn 47).

  Gillian (turn 58), with Hannah’s confirmation (turn 63), and
  then Ms. S’s acceptance (turn 78) contributed the linear
        (72-y)/2 = (40-x)/2

  and these could be solved, using substitution
                  Some Possible Lessons

• The information processing involved in comprehending
  information, if your framing isn’t aligned with the source, can
  be hard:
  i) it requires significant effort and cooperation;
  ii) the inquirer has to know quite a bit, in the form of general

• If this is true, then successful teaching probably includes
  fostering students’ developing resources for framing, that are
  sufficiently aligned with framings inherent in the subject
     Another Dimension of Accountable Talk?

• It might be important to consider ways in which classroom
  talk can be accountable to students’ prior knowing and
  understanding. As a general principle, that’s already accepted,
  but it may be important to develop a better account of what
  that means. (Framing resources are probably a different kind
  of knowledge than Gagné-type prerequisites.)

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