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Dialogic interactions in the cooperative classroom

By Robyn Gillies


Attention in recent years has turned to the key role talk plays in mediating students\u27 learning when they work cooperatively together. There is no doubt that talk, albeit by the teacher or peers, has the capacity to stimulate and extend students\u27 thinking and advance their learning. Teachers do this when they encourage students to engage in reciprocal dialogues where they exchange information, explore issues, interrogate ideas, and tackle problems in a cooperative environment that is supportive of these discussions. In turn, students learn to listen to what others have to say, consider alternative perspectives, and engage critically and constructively with each other\u27s ideas by learning how to reason and justify their assertions as they cooperate together. This study involved three Year 7 teachers and 17 groups of students (3-5 students per group) from their classes. The teachers had agreed to teach two units of cooperative, inquiry-based science across two school terms. All three teachers had been trained to use a dialogic approach to teaching designed to challenge children\u27s thinking and learning. This paper presents examples of both teachers\u27 and students\u27 dialogic interactions and discusses the complementarity of these discourses even though the teachers used slightly different dialogic approaches in interacting with their students. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Topics: Dialogic talk, Dialogic teaching, Cooperation, Inquiry based science, 3304 Education
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.ijer.2015.02.009
OAI identifier:

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