Technology Education- Enhancing student learning through student-to-student questioning

Opportunity without funding
Closing date No closing date


DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

SupervisorAprof Wendy Fox-Turnbull

About this opportunity

This project investigates the deployment of dialogism as a sociocultural theory for learning and qualitative methodologies to investigate in-depth, student-to-student (inter-student) questioning in the design and technology classroom and its influence on students’ learning in junior primary classrooms. Classroom interaction is very complex and used for multiple reasons every day. Students use to talk to collaborate, to support and defend themselves and others, to question and query and to solve disputes. Student-to-student dialogue has been found to give insight into students' learning by teachers. However, what are the benefits for teaching and learning if students are scaffolded into asking questions of each other when undertaking technology practice?

The project's aim is to develop inter-student dialogue, especially questioning facilitated through a planned framework, Technology Conversation Observation and Framework (TOCF) for primary-aged students while participating in design and technology education.

In this study the researcher can expect to gain insights into aspects of development of student understanding of technology through the recording and analysis of inter-student dialogue facilitated through the TOCF and conversations with the students and their teachers. This study aims to contribute specifically to the fields of classroom dialogue, classroom questioning, student learning, formative assessment and design and technology education.

Unfunded vacancy

If you are selected for this vacancy and you are successful in being admitted to the Doctoral programme at the University of Waikato, you will need to cover all costs yourself or via a scholarship that is independent of this vacancy.



The general Higher Degrees admission criteria apply.

This vacancy has additional eligibility criteria:

  • trained teacher or education qualification
  • primary classroom experience

The application process


The review of applicants begins 1 July 2023 and will continue until the vacancy is filled.

How to apply

If you are interested in this vacancy, please email the supervisor. Please include evidence that you meet the eligibility criteria for this vacancy.


The supervisor will let you know whether they have shortlisted you for this vacancy and will advise you of next steps.



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Questions about the process?

If you have any questions about the process, you can contact the School of Graduate Research.

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