Classroom talk, by which children make sense of what their peers and teachers mean, is the most important educational tool for guiding the development of understanding and for jointly constructing knowledge. So what practical steps can teachers take to develop effective classroom interaction?

Bringing together leading international researchers and drawing on the pioneering work of Douglas Barnes, this book considers ways of improving classroom talk.

Key Features

Examines classroom communication and managing social relations; Addresses talk in science classrooms; Covers using critical conversations in studying literature; Looks at exploratory talk and thinking skills; Discusses talking to learn and learning to talk in the mathematics classroom; Investigates the ‘emerging pedagogy’ of the spoken word

With an accessible blend of theory, research and practice, the book will be a valuable resource for teachers, teacher-trainers, policy makers, researchers, and students.

Talking to Learn and Learning to Talk in the Mathematics Classroom

Talking to learn and learning to talk in the mathematics classroom
YvetteSolomon and LauraBlack


This chapter is concerned with how talk is used in mathematics education. The authors explain how students can adopt different ‘learner identities’ and different ways of participating in classroom dialogue, and argue that these different forms of interaction can be important influences on students’ engagement with, and learning of, mathematics. Drawing on observation in a primary school classroom and interviews with secondary/high school students, they argue that talk should be considered as a means for both providing a teacher's expert guidance and for enabling students to take ownership of their learning of mathematics. The authors conclude that, to be most effective, mathematics ...

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