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.

Culture, Dialogue and Learning: Notes on an Emerging Pedagogy

Culture, dialogue and learning: Notes on an emerging pedagogy


In this chapter, Robin Alexander draws on his international research on talk in primary classrooms to explain the nature and value of a pedagogic approach called ‘dialogic teaching’. The chapter begins with a consideration of the various ways that classroom talk is conceptualised and used by teachers in different countries, and the implications these have for children's participation and learning. He then considers different ways that classroom interaction can be organised and the repertoires teachers can employ when interacting with their pupils. After setting out some principles for dialogic teaching, Alexander then goes on to present some encouraging findings from schools in the UK which have been implementing ...

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