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 Texts into Being: On the Social Construction of Everyday Life and Academic Knowledge in the Classroom

Talking texts into being: On the social construction of everyday life and academic knowledge in the classroom
JudithGreen, BethYeager and MariaLuciaCastanheira


This chapter reviews the ethnographic approach developed by members of the Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group. The authors explain how this approach has helped them to shed light on how classroom ‘life’ shapes and is shaped by the learning discourses of the teachers, students and the wider community. Drawing upon extracts from essays written by students, they relate acts of learning to the developing language and dialogue of the classroom. They argue that students develop a ‘dialogue of learning’ which is based upon their own agency (point of view), ...

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