What goes on in classrooms ? Nobody knows except the children and the teacher. Other teachers do not know, since they only have the evidence of what their colleague chooses to tell them; and this may be coloured by his desire to impress or his fear of criticism. Student teachers do not know, since it seems quite likely that the class teacher will put on a special show for them. Head teachers do not know, since they are too busy administrating, or because a special show will be put on for them too. Research workers do not know since their very presence and activity changes the social situation of the classroom completely So all we can do is make informed guesses

Consider again the examples of communication we cited in Chapter i. In the case of the lecture, the sender of the message was the lecturer, and the receivers were his audience of students. He received no verbal feedback as to whether the students were understanding what he was saying, but he may have received some visual feedback concerning how bored they were and whether they were paying attention or not. This may well be true with some teachers. They spend almost all their time talking to the class. Periodically they ask questions, but these questions are often aimed at providing feedback concerning the class's attention. They might even ask for a repetition from a pupil of what they have just said. Sometimes, their questions are aimed at discovering whether the class has understood what they have explained. In this case, there is one correct answer which they expect; other answers are wrong.