Navigating instructional dialectics: empirical exploration of paradox in teaching
contradiction, dialectic strategies, Dialectic theory, instruction, teacher paradox
Navigating contradiction represents an integral part of the teaching process. While educational literature has discussed the paradoxes that teachers experience in the classroom, minimal empirical research has analyzed the strategies teachers employ to address these paradoxes. Using relational dialectics as a theoretical framework for understanding paradoxes in teaching, we analyzed extensive interview data from 19 postsecondary instructors regarding the learning-oriented dialectics teachers experience and navigate. Findings here extend dialectics into a new instructional context by identifying three supradialectics these teachers experienced, as well as the strategies they report using to assist student learning in light of those dialectics. Subsequent analysis illustrates the dialectic nature of teacher strategies used in the classroom, offering insight into how teachers navigate dialectic tensions daily in the classroom. Further, this study provides researchers theoretical knowledge and evidence regarding how dialectic tensions and strategies function differently across communication contexts.
Department of Communication and Media
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Thompson, Blair; Rudick, C. Kyle; Kerssen-Griep, Jeff; and Golsan, Kathryn, "Navigating instructional dialectics: empirical exploration of paradox in teaching" (2018). Faculty Publications. 756.