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.

Teachers' use of Feedback in Whole-Class and Group-Based Talk

Teachers' use of feedback in whole-class and group-based talk


In this chapter, Frank Hardman argues that international research shows that it is important that teachers use classroom dialogue to encourage students’ active participation and to provide them with constructive feedback. This requires teachers to use a variety of strategies for interacting with their students, and especially for using questions in strategic ways. However, observational research also shows that this importance is not reflected by practice in most classrooms, where the questions asked by teachers still seem to be designed to elicit only brief ‘right answers’ and where teachers’ evaluations of those answers provide little in the way of useful, formative assessment. Hardman argues for the need for ...

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