A Teacher’s Guide to Dialogic Pedagogy Part 3: The How – Facilitation

Friday, May 8th, 2020


In the previous post I suggested that Eduardo Mortimer and Philip Scott’s categorisation of classroom talk offers a useful tool for teachers as they reflect on the different ‘communicative approaches’ they use. I also suggested that it would be useful for many teachers to increase the proportion of dialogic / interactive talk (or Thinking Together) in their classrooms, and perhaps to reduce the proportion of authoritative / interactive talk (characterised by IRE sequences) used. In this post I will retain the focus on teacher talk and offer some suggestions as to how the transition from authoritative to dialogic interaction could be made.

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A Teacher’s Guide to Dialogic Pedagogy Part 2: The How – Getting Started

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

Introduction

In the previous post I described dialogic pedagogy as involving teachers and students talking and thinking in a way that seeks out and values different perspectives, and uses them to develop understanding. The broad term ‘dialogic pedagogy’ encompasses diverse approaches to its enactment in the classroom. Notable approaches include Professor Robin Alexander’s Dialogic Teaching; Thinking Together as developed by Professor Rupert Wegerif, Professor Neil Mercer and Dr Lyn Dawes; Professor Lauren Resnick’s Accountable Talk; Roger Sutcliffe’s Philosophical Teaching and Philosophy for Children (P4C) as developed by Professor Matthew Lipman. Follow the links or see the bibliography to find out more about them.

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A Teacher’s Guide to Dialogic Pedagogy Part 1: The What and the Why

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

In this short series of posts, I want to explore what dialogic pedagogy is, why it might be valuable and how a classroom teacher or school might get started with it. It’s written in part to help me to clarify my own thinking (or at least to keep me thinking!) during the lockdown, though I do hope others will find it interesting and useful too. Any feedback would be most welcome.

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Care in the Community (of Enquiry)

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

All real living is meeting

Martin Buber, I and Thou

During the days before Christmas, while shopping in a busy arcade in Chester, I stopped to listen to a male voice choir as they sang carols. It was one of a few occasions this year when I felt infused with the ‘Christmas Spirit’; I was, for a short time, a part of a community of people sharing a difficult-to-define feeling of togetherness and good will. It was one of those occasions when, fleetingly, the boundary that divides ‘me’ from ‘the world’ seems to dissolve. A similar relationship with others can be experienced when a person is drawn into dialogue and I want to argue that one way in which this is made possible is through ‘care’, which I will relate to the notion of ‘caring thinking’ as advocated in philosophical communities of enquiry. 

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Making Progress with Dialogue

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

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“Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below.” Noam Chomsky

 

I think the notion of progress is essential to all forms of dialogic teaching (including Philosophy for Children /P4C), and is easily forgotten. Too often progress towards good dialogue ‘plateaus’ at a relatively superficial level, where conversation is polite and ideas and questions (some of them profound) are shared, but there is no active attempt to seek to deeply understand other points of view, to synthesise them, to challenge and test them or to explore alternatives.  In this post I want to discuss one approach to planning for progress with dialogue (or perhaps I should use the term ‘dialogic enquiry’ to refer to practice that uses talk that is recognisably dialogic but is focused on a question or problem), and to share a resource that I hope teachers will find useful (You can download it for free here). Continue Reading »

The 10th Festival of Education

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Wellington

 

It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak at the 10th Festival of Education at Wellington College. My talk was entitled ‘Teaching through and for Dialogue’. You can download the slides with some brief notes here, and a more detailed set of notes here. Please do let me have any feedback. Continue Reading »

Education and the Dialogue of Humanity

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

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What follows is the text of my article for the Summer 2018 issue of Teaching Citizenship.

The dialogue of humanity

I spend a lot of time arguing that teaching young people how to engage in dialogue is profoundly important. I go as far as to argue that one of the purposes of education is to draw young people into dialogue. This can draw fire from those persuaded that education is all about giving young people knowledge, but I think this is due to a misunderstanding of the argument; I think dialogue is essential to the meaningful development of knowledge. I also think it’s essential to becoming a better citizen and a better human being. Continue Reading »

Teaching through and for Dialogue

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Tin_Can_Phones Website

 

This is the text of a short article written for the March 2018 edition of The Stoke-on-Trent Research School’s e-newsletter. You can access the full newsletter here.

At one time I was apologetic when talking to teachers about the role of dialogue in education. It felt like I was bothering them with my niche interest when they had more important things to be getting on with.  These days I’m bolder: I think that teaching through dialogue is indispensable to the meaningful development of knowledge and that teaching for dialogue should be a key aim – perhaps even the aim – of education itself. Here’s why: Continue Reading »

A Perspective on Dialogic Education

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

I became conscious recently that I and others I spoke with often use terms such as dialogic education, dialogic teaching and even P4C as if they are synonyms.  In what follows I offer a possible way of describing the relationship between such terms.

 

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Why does Dialogic Teaching work?

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

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Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”  Maya Angelou

 

In July 2017 the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) published a report showing that Dialogic Teaching supported children in Year 5 (9-10 year-olds) to make accelerated progress in English, science and maths. This is consistent with the findings of a 2016 report showing that regular practice of Philosophy for Children (P4C) has a similar positive impact on attainment in reading and maths for children of a similar age. These findings have led people to wonder about the mechanism through which these approaches (both of which focus on the development of cognitively challenging talk and dialogue) impact on the learning of academic subjects, and in this post I  offer some thoughts on this. Continue Reading »