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At that point, the teacher finds himself losing the participation of an active student and, simultaneously, the recitation. To allay the loss, the teacher not only invites Patty to participate, but reverses his position relative to the disagreement's topic. 112]). Thus, students participate in ambiguous interchanges. As in this lesson, they may experience rewards when they behave passively, as much or more than when they engage actively with the lesson's subject matter. By refusing to disagree verbally at the end of the lesson, Patty wins encouragement to participate as a disputant.

41), Patty asserts that Mary will earn power in the group, rather than occupying a position "at the end'' of the group. This initial confrontation spawns a train of heated resolution moves and additional disagreements about Mary. A noteworthy feature of direct disagreements in classrooms is that the counter-assertion, here by Patty (beginning I. 46), is a reacting move. That is, a student, rather than the teacher, performs the evaluation. Patty's reaction follows the event that precipitates itButch's extreme answerwith no buffering move by the teacher.

A skilled veteran of fourteen years of teaching, he expresses a rather hip style in his predilection for jeans, flannel shirts, a moustache, and an ear for the adolescent vernacular. Therefore, while distinguished from regular classes by a predominance of worksheets, films, and silent reading periods, Mr. Bradley's lower-track class includes occasional extended recitations. Mr. Bradley's October lesson, a recitation about the "communicative power" of a group of six fictional characters, is the culminating activity of a three-week unit on group communication.

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