Classroom Discourse and Management: A Post-Covid-19 Experience
Catalogue Vol.26 No. 1 Classroom Discourse and Management: A Post-Covid-19 Experience



Covid-19 pandemic has actually disrupted basically all things in the world. This disruption calls for a restructuring of all aspects of human life in every field of man’s activities. Classroom discourse and management therefore have to be tuned in line with the new normal, with the realization that the traditional ways of teaching and learning can no longer work. Therefore, educational stakeholders (especially the teachers and their students) are expected to incorporate complete digital tools in classroom discourse and management.

The digital teaching and learning introduced during covid-19 should not be replaced with any other method; rather it should be improved upon. This study is an exploratory work that adopts an ex post facto research design, a design that entails that data were not manipulated. Data were randomly selected from teaching and learning settings from two (2) secondary schools in Lagos metropolis and John Austin’s The Speech Act Theory was employed in analyzing the primary data. John Austin maintains that utterances perform actions; he specifically explains three types: locutionary acts (the mere uttering of meaningful words), illocutionary acts (actions performed through the uttering of words) and perlocutionary acts (the effects realized through utterances). The outcome of this study shows that the traditional method is replete with teachers’ complete dominance therefore the need for digitalization of classroom discourse and management.

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Classroom discourse (CD) and classroom management (CM) are complementary broad concepts that should be taken seriously by classroom participants after Covid-19 pandemic. CD is the language used by classroom participants during face-to-face interactions which can be formal (such as lessons, teaching, assignments, debates, examination, test and quizzes) or informal, (such as casual discussions, informal interactions and chats after the normal lesson/teaching time). It is the most powerful and an indispensable classroom tool in disseminating education- al information by the teachers to their students. It is equally a crucial tool in receiving and extracting disseminated information by the learners.

Ong (2017) establishes that: is one of the vital instructional tools that educators apply to facilitate learning.

Much is to be desired of classroom discourse after Covid-19 pandemic as the normal traditional teacher-dominated method may not be effective any longer. Therefore, after Covid-19 pandemic, CD and CM should be enhanced by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools for maximal positive outcomes. Since CM is very crucial in today’s classroom and especially after covid-19 pan- demic, it is ideal that classroom participants handle it effectively. The cognitive, affective and the psychomotor domains of education have to be well handled for positive outcomes after Covid-19 pandemic.

Classroom participants, learning environment, material and non-material contents have to be well packaged and managed with actual application of ICT tools for the sustainability of classroom discourse. This is necessary to bring back the teachers and their students who had diverted their attentions to other fields in a bid to survive the pandemic; and for those who actually used ICT tools to teach and learn more; and use them effectively. The application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) contradicts what goes on in a traditional classroom (TC).

In the TC, CM involves the controlling and handling of basically everything in the classroom by the teachers who exhibit holistic power over his students. Nwiyi (2017) submits that classroom is designed to be managed by an instructor or a teacher. The teachers’ total dominance of CM makes the students not to participate fully in the activities in classrooms. The teacher becomes the centre of everything and what he does benefits him more than the students.

He also manages everything himself; some of the things that he manages are self, pupils/students, classroom leaders, educational equipment, materials, teaching records, curricula, co-curricular programmes, classroom sitting arrangements, teaching techniques, people, school officials, teacher’s appearance, language, emotions, attitude to work, action, time and participants’ relationship with one another in the classroom. He merely allows the students to come in when he likes. This is probably due to the power he exhibits in the classrooms.

Oyedeji (1998) observes that ..

...the teacher has power and this can be categorized into four namely, charisma, dominance, intellectual power and resources power.

The teacher’s charisma means his/ her ability to influence and attract people with his/ her personality. Dominance means that the teacher is able to control all situations. Intellectual power is his/her ability to express knowledge and mastery over the subjects he/she teaches and resources power means his/her ability to organize all aspects of work in the classroom. An effective teacher, according to Oyedeji: expected to utilize his/her power and authority to create an effective classroom atmosphere for teaching and learning.

Deducing from Oyedeji’s observations, failure to exercise his power, his leadership style, physical, and mental environment, communication and time management can be affected negatively.

For classroom discourse to be sustained after Covid-19 pandemic, the teacher’s power should be directed towards the betterment of the CD and CM. Also, there should be both ideational, methodological and positional shifts from the traditional or conventional ways that teachers exhibit total dominance of classroom discourse to a dynamic inclusive classroom discourse where the students and their teachers co-think, co-talk, co-manage and co-work. There should also be a gradual paradigm shift from physical and immediate face-to-face interactions among the class- room participants to a mixture of digital, immediate and distance face-to-face talks between discourse participants in the classroom. In other words, the application of ICTs should be paramount and not just being spoken of. This suggests that the popular Initiation-Response-Feedback (I-R-F) discourse patterns and their recent modifications should give room for ICTs usable measures to achieve the suggested strands desired to sustain our classroom after the pandemic. Again, digital class- room discourses should form the fulcrum of classroom discourse after Covid -19 pandemic.

The importance of ICTs in sustaining classroom discourse and management has already been acknowledged by many researchers. Bhattacharjee & Deb (2016), Dahiya (2005), Sangra & Sanmameds (2016), Hennessy (2010), Guma et al (2013) and many others have established the indispensability of ICTs to education. ICTs are the enhancers, controllers, managers and facilitators of what goes on in the classroom (if applied). During Covid-19 era, ICTs were gateways where teachers and their students maximally engaged in teaching and learning. This should not be allowed to fade away; rather training and re-training of classroom participants on all forms of ICTs should be done in order to use them appropriately. Since what is keyed into them will be what is obtainable, all ICT knowledge and skills are necessary for maximal benefits and possible sustainability of classroom discourse after Covid-19 pandemic.

This study focuses on the practicability of ICTs as indispensable tools for sustainable classroom discourse after Covid-19 pandemic. It also centers on the prospective evaluation of classroom management after Covid-19 pandemic in Lagos metropolis, Nigeria. It suggests that we should not go back to our traditional black and white boards where the teacher alone dominates, manages classroom discourse and uses textbooks, course curricula and syllabi to teach our students after covid-19 pandemic; rather ICTs should be applied always in CD and CM.

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