Pedagogical Praxis in Classrooms. Cognitive Consensual Process in Class Room Activities

Scientific Essay, 2017

10 Pages


Table of contents





Meaning of naïve consensus

Societal bases of cognitive consensus in class

Curriculum expected cognitive structure

Consensus beyond the conscious teaching

Consensus orientation in the innovative pedagogical approaches


Implication to Nepali classroom



This article has attempted to explore the classroom cognitive consensus prevailed in the classroom where teacher educator, an expert of pedagogy, consciously practices the pedagogical knowledge to transform and shape the students’ content specific cognitive structure. The article has presented the implicit or naïve cognitive consensus of the students embedded in the classroom, but, ignored by the pedagogical theory and practice of educators, caused by the cognitive consensus implicitly prevailed in the society, curriculum structure and concept of classroom learning community. It has hint that the pedagogies based on socio-cognitive ground, like collaborative learning, group learning and cooperative learning have led the classroom cognitive consensus and cooperation, rather than unbearable competition among the peer students.

Keywords: cognitive consensus, cognitive structure, classroom pedagogy, collaborative learning


In the ancient era, religious leader, philosopher, Guru, Rishi etc. used to give wisdom or knowledge to their followers, shisyas or disciples gathering them in certain public places. When formal school system came into existence, classroom concept emerged as the closed learning group in the formal schools. The public school systems which were of state supported, secular free schools for all children begun in 1820s are the historical features of the formal education. Classes of schools and universities are intentionally and formally formed with purpose of learning. The purposes of school and university education were to fulfill the goals of the nation which had neglected the needs and aspirations of individuals. The pedagogical paradigms institutionalized and practiced across the years can be broadly categorized into four orientations; such as Philosophical orientation, Psychological orientation, Socio-cultural orientation and techno-cultural orientation. In another words, it can be classified into teacher centered, student centered, group interaction, group learning or non-centered teaching and e-teaching or e-instruction.

In the context of Nepal, formal classroom pedagogical practice initiated in 1853 A.D. in Thapathali Darbar, later Darbar School. In 1956 A. D., College of Education was established to produce and train school teachers. This effort enforced to develop and practice pedagogical theories in the classroom. At present, the teacher education programs run under various universities are responsible to produce teachers for the schools of Nepal. In this context, classroom pedagogical discourse is the heart of present teacher education and the educators.


The teacher educators of higher education have been practicing the pedagogy in the classes with the pedagogical consciousness. In this context, this paper has attempted to meet the following objectives.

1. To explore the state of naïve cognitive consensus in classroom
2. To elicit the teacher educators’ perspective on the naïve cognitive consensus of the classroom
3. To analyze the naïve cognitive consensus


The research paper is based on qualitative design. Auto-ethnographic methods had been employed to elicit primary data. Methodological triangulation and theoretical triangulation have been used in the process of data collection and data analysis to verify and validate the data. Samples had been selected purposefully. Four teacher educators and thirty seven students from Bachelor Degree in Education-I year, the combined section of the students of English Education and Math Education, and myself had been selected as a sample of the population. Self observation of class room teaching, test to collect content specific conceptual responses of the students and interview for the teacher educators had been used to collect information.

Meaning making through Integrating the information into literature

The information obtained from and realities felt in the classroom have been integrated into the existing literature. The implicit consensus is the side of research which is very rarely found is the step to make new meaning from the classroom practice pedagogy.

Meaning of naïve consensus

Terminologically, according to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘naïve’ means ‘natural and unaffected’, ‘of rejecting sophisticated artistic techniques’ and consensual is the adjective form of consensus which means ‘general agreement’ as mentioned in the Oxford Dictionary. Hence, the paper has attempted to penetrate the informal, natural and implicit state of classroom cognition in the higher education. Cognitive consensual process of class room teaching activates the whole students of the class in the process of building of collective knowledge and group belongingness. Consensual approach to cognitive process in classroom supports conscious classroom community (Sartor & Brown, 2004). Sartor and Brown (2004) have identified various specific skills in the consensual classroom. The skills are, “1) speaking one’s truth clearly, directly, honestly; 2) listening for understanding with empathy; 3) holding an awareness of the whole; 4) giving and receiving feedback; 5) identifying and changing unconscious behaviors; 6) making and keeping agreements; 7) confronting broken agreements, and 8) acting spontaneously” (Sartor & Brown, 2004, p. 35). Trimbur(1989) claims the significance of class room consensus as, “consensus can be a powerful instrument for students to generate differences, to identify the systems of authority that organize these differences, and to transform the relations of power that determine who may speak and what counts as a meaningful statement”(p.603). Cognitive consensus process is the consequence of argumentative, dialogical and meaning making process occurring the classroom.

Societal bases of cognitive consensus in class

There is no coercion in the knowledge acquisition in open society. But there are generally accepted information, knowledge and values prevailing in the society or community which are non-consciously and spontaneously acquired by the members. Rose et. al. (1994) states, “consensual realities do exist in society and it would be an error not to acknowledge them”(p. 5). Classroom is purposefully organized to attend goals of education that is considered as miniature society. The notion of inter-subjectivity theory, derived from sociology, as having in common is based on special consensus-based activities (Matusov, 1996, as cited in Matusov, 2001:388). I found cognitive consensus in my students in their response to the question asked, “What do you mean by realism ?”, in the class session on “Major Schools of Philosophy”. Out of 37 students almost all students have chosen the key words like “fact”,” truth”, “experience”; “social norm”, “value”, “culture”; and “seen and “felt in life” to respond to the question. As proposed by Shaw and Gaines(1989) state that experts [potential experts/students] use terminology and concepts in the same way. In my understanding, consensual concept formation is the impact of the discourse prevailed episteme in the society. The sample students had not been exposed to content before and previous sessions and courses.

Curriculum expected cognitive structure

Hierarchically structured curriculum and its objectives and specialized contents are the most strong formal factors to prepare consensual cognitive conceptual frame of the students exposed to a same curriculum. None of the student, having below 35 marks, has been enrolled in the pre-service teacher education. The students to whom have been taught in the classroom and sampled as respondents for my research have come through +2 education stream with core education subjects (Introduction to Education, Instructional Pedagogy and Instructional Evaluation). It means all the students have a certain level of cognitive construction which allow everyone of them to co-construct knowledge with temporal and naïve cognitive consensus within Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). According to Reusser(2001), “co-construction, from a situated cognition perspective, can be seen as having two or more individuals collaboratively construct a shared understanding”(p.2059).

The school level curriculum has rigorously attempted to shape the cognitive structure of the students enrolled to the pre-service teacher education program. From the structuralist perspective, curriculum makes a uniform cognitive structure of the students who have been exposed to a curriculum. I see in the class session of Foundation of Education that the curriculum of the subject has rigorously structured contents with the specification and objectives to be attained through the curriculum at the certain level. The objective, according to syllabus of Philosophical and Sociological Foundation of education, of Four Major Schools of Philosophy is to specify Idealism, Naturalism, Pragmatism and Realism with special reference to philosophical premises, objectives, educational process, curriculum, role of teacher and students in the context of school education. Instructor does not have authority to lead students beyond the content domain and content objective. It means from the classroom perspective, there is no such educational philosophical thought that are useful in the life of the students.


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Pedagogical Praxis in Classrooms. Cognitive Consensual Process in Class Room Activities
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Lecturer Karna Bahadur Chongbang (Author), 2017, Pedagogical Praxis in Classrooms. Cognitive Consensual Process in Class Room Activities, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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