Constructing meaning in a community of learners: the ‘star’ pattern of talk

Mirit Rachamim, Lily Orland-Barak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present findings from an in-depth study on a school-based multi-disciplinary learning community in the context of practice teaching in university pre-service education. We elaborate on one of the three predominant patterns of talk identified, the ‘star’ pattern, and show how it created particular power relations in the discourse which eventually triggered occasions for learning in community. The community of learners consisted of 11 student teachers and a university mentor who functioned as a tutor responsible for facilitating the group discussion. The group met on a weekly basis throughout an entire academic year (23 meetings). Data collection included recordings of all meetings and semi-structured interviews with all participants including the mentor (altogether 25 interviews). Findings suggest that the ‘star’ pattern of talk constitutes a powerful channel for promoting learning in the context of a community of learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-490
Number of pages16
JournalOxford Review of Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Patterns of talk
  • community of learners
  • occasions for learning
  • power relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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