International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Teacher-Student Discourses, Power Brokerage and Classroom Engagement
W. Marc Jackman

This paper examines power brokerage between prospective teachers and students in Social Studies classes in Trinidad and Tobago.Six diverse secondary school classrooms were observed over a school year. In each class, power-lines were drawn based on student perceptions of in-situ authority, knowledge, challenge and interest power. Students appeared to base their interactions and willingness to be academically engaged on their perception of the ability of the teacher to manage the bases of power related to the same four factors. There also appeared to be a hierarchical structure emerging from these observations with authority power at the top followed by knowledge and then challenge or interest power at the lower levels. Generally, classroom discourses were most successful when prospective teachers adeptly wielded knowledge or challenge power and less successful when employing authority power. Interestpowerappeared to be moderately effective. The implications of these findings for prospective and cooperating teachers are also discussed.

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