I have an ongoing interest in working with teachers to investigate the learning power of ‘dialogic teaching’. In a whole school research and development project using lesson study in a vocational high school we considered dialogic teaching across the curriculum. We were particularly interested in how dialogic teaching might impact on experiences of respect and relatedness by students who have experienced sustained social disadvantage. See the project report at: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5176/
In a current maths teaching research and development project I am working with a school-based colleague, Andy Ash, on developing a ‘material-dialogic teaching’ of teacher video stimulated recall interview data and of clasroom video. The material aspect is an attempt to extend the work of Robin Alexander and Neil Mercer on dialogic teaching to move beyond a focus merely on the voices of human beings, which is of course significant for learning, to allow for the agency and voice of materials such as text book, concrete manipulatives and even the physical room and desk layout. This is connected to the development of ‘New Materialist’ or ‘renewed materialist’ perspectives applied to education. For me, dialogic teaching is a powerful element in the development of mastery approaches to teaching mathematics, see teacher handout at: https://ma2mdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dialogic-teaching-overview-ma2m-120.pdf
The ‘Learning Conversations’ project is a completed project and a small contribution to the development of thinking around dialogic teaching. It is based in early years settings and basically involves some expert early years practitioners investigating how to talk to four year olds! The project used the ‘sustained shared thinking’ framework and developed a new framework for analysis of class discussions. The strategies and frameworks used have relevance for educators working in all age phases. The approach to the collaborative research, using qualitative analysis of video clips of practice, will also be of interest to teacher researchers in all age phases.
The main Learning Conversations research paper was published in the International Journal of Early Years Education and is open access so you can download it directly from the journal website as a pdf and share it with colleagues under a commons licence Learning Conversations research paper It is also available from the University of Cumbria ‘insight repository’ via Learning Conversations paper
As part of the project we produced a professional development toolkit with professional DVD video clips that are analysed and debated by teachers in the workshops to give them insight into the framework and the teacher strategies, as well as a very basic introduction to qualitative analysis. The toolkit is available hard copy from Everton Nursery School and Family Centre at £45 but we have provided one video clip (called ‘Pineapple’) and the required transcript and guidance as online open access resources below.
Basically the video clip and resources provide a workshop suitable for early years and other educators interested in developing strategies for developing dialogue with children.
The workshop is also be useful as an introduction to qualitative analysis of classroom video. Please note that the current workshop activity is an example of thematic analysis through a deductive reasoning approach applying a framework to the data rather than inductively generating themes from the data. If you have sufficient knowledge of thematic analysis then you could add the inductive element by doing some analysis of the transcript before sharing the frameworks.
Workshop slides with notes for facilitators or for self study
Workshop handout with the three frameworks for analysis
Transcript of the Pineapple video clip
Practitioner action research guide (also see real world educate page on ‘teacher inquiry’)