Language and Education 22 (3):222-240 (2008)
AbstractDrawing on recent developments in dialogic approaches to learning and teaching, I examine the roots of dialogic meaning-making as a concept in classroom practices. Developments in the field of dialogic pedagogy are reviewed and the case for dialogic engagement as an approach to classroom interaction is considered. The implications of dialogic classroom approaches are discussed in the context of educational research and classroom practice. Dialogic practice is contrasted with monologic practices as evidenced by the resilient of the IRF as the default discourse structure in classrooms. Recent evidence suggests the IRF is resistant to attempts to introduce interactive approaches to whole class teaching. Discussion of dialogic practice as a vehicle for increasing pupil engagement at a deep level and raising the quality of classroom interaction is illustrated through a consideration of Philosophy for Children, which is identified as a dialogic approach to classroom practice which has transformative potential for children's learning. Philosophy for Children offers an approach to pedagogy which enables teachers to value pupil voice and promote reflective learning. As such it has much to offer the current debate on dialogic teaching and learning. Research evidence suggests it will promote improved pupil outcomes on a range of assessments.
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