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Welcome to the workshop on Dialogic Teaching and Learning!. Something to think / talk about while we are waiting to start: Would it make any difference if the workshop were titled “Dialogic Learning and Teaching”?. Learning. "Learning is not the product of teaching.

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Welcome to the workshop on Dialogic Teaching and Learning!


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    1. Welcome to the workshop on Dialogic Teaching and Learning! Something to think / talk about while we are waiting to start: Would it make any difference if the workshop were titled “Dialogic Learning and Teaching”?

    2. Learning "Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.” John Holt (1967) How Children Learn “If we taught children to speak, they’d never learn” Bill Hull, quoted by John Holt, ibid.

    3. So, let’s think / talk together about our workshop objectives … Outcomes from workshop

    4. Here’s one I prepared before! More learning about Dialogical Learning Better appreciation of the value of Dialogical Learning and Teaching Outcomes from today More practice of Dialogical Teaching ConnectingDL&T with Philosophical Enquiry

    5. Dialogue – back to basics Dialogue is not just the next step up from monologue! • Dia = through, across (not di = two) • Logos = speech, word It is not restricted to two-way conversation.

    6. Two avoidable extremes • Monologue I (the ‘teacher’ / workshop ‘leader’) present all I (think I) know about dialogic teaching and learning and you (the ‘learners’ / workshop participants) take private notes • Mock ignorance I present nothing at all other than very open questions and expect small groups to self-facilitate

    7. Will as well as skill “We can teach students what constitutes good thinking, but without their being motivated and disposed to engage in good thinking when the occasion arises, such instruction comes to naught.” John Dewey (1910) How we Think Dialogue disciplines thinking but also stimulates it.

    8. Better teaching / facilitation • Dialogic Learning & Teaching The teacher / facilitator has ultimate responsibility for establishing the focus for enquiry, e.g. introducing a ‘stimulus’, and for progressing learning, i.e. making the best use of resources. That may occasionally require the teacher / facilitator to introduce information to aid understanding. But the prime resources for learning are learners’ own wills and skills to reflect, research and report, which are best elicited and exercised by dialogue.

    9. A Concept SPEC, e.g ‘Work’ Phrases (the concept in daily use) Synonyms Labour, Force, Task, Job Work horse / house, Doesn’t work, All work and no play, Hard work Connections (related concepts, inc. antonyms) Examples (i.e. scenarios) Duty, Purpose, Slavery, Effort Achievement, Industrious, Leisure, Play Washing up, Essay-writing, Nine to five, Ploughing

    10. A Concept SPEC for ‘Dialogue’ Phrases (the concept in daily use) Synonyms Conversation International dialogue Connections (related concepts, inc. antonyms) Examples (i.e. scenarios) A ‘Relate’ meeting Feedback

    11. Constructivism - 21st century pedagogy, based on 20th century Psychology “From the 1980’s, the Piagetian idea of the child as the ‘lone scientist’ who develops cognitively by interacting with stimulating materials was… supplemented by the Vygotskian view that the child’s cognitive development also requires it to engage, through the medium of spoken language, with adults, other children and the wider culture.” • Robin Alexander, Towards Dialogic Teaching, 2004

    12. Beyond Speaking and Listening Dialogic teaching is not National Curriculum ‘speaking and listening’ under another name. It is grounded in research on the relationship between language, thinking and understanding, and in observational evidence on what makes for truly effective teaching. Robin Alexander, Towards Dialogic Teaching, 2004

    13. John Hattie (2009) Visible Learning • “Somewhat surprisingly, there was no preponderance of evidence supporting the importance of subject knowledge.” (p. 248) • “It is not the knowledge or ideas, but the learner’s construction of this knowledge and these ideas that is critical.” (p. 239) • “Students need much deliberative practice distributed over the learning time… 3 or 4 experiences involving interaction with relevant information for a new knowledge construct to be created and transferred to long-term memory.” (p. 242)

    14. Dialogic learning In dialogic classrooms children don’t just provide brief factual answers to ‘test’ or ‘recall’ questions, or merely spot the answer which they think the teacher wants to hear. Instead they learn to: • narrate, explain, analyse, speculate, imagine, explore, evaluate, discuss, argue, justify andthey askquestionsof their own. Children in dialogic classrooms also • listen • think about what they hear • give others time to think • respect alternative viewpoints

    15. John Hattie (Visible Learning) ctd. “There seems universal agreement that cooperative learning is effective, esp. when contrasted with competitive and individualistic learning” Ibid, p. 212 “The aim is to help students to learn the skills of teaching themselves – to self-regulate their learning.” Ibid, p. 245

    16. Teaching without Meaning Evidence suggests that students of all ages have many misconceptions that are not being effectively addressed by existing instructional methods. Anderson and Smith (1984), for instance, have noted that elementary students can pass chapter quizzes on photosynthesis and still not understand that plants make their own food. • Equator: A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa. • Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away. • “Vivisection is all right when practised on dead animals.”

    17. Modes of Learning(Research by National Training Laboratories for Applied Behavioural Sciences, USA) 5% 10% 20% 30% 50% 75% 90% • Listening • 2. Reading • 3. Audio-visual • 4. Demonstrations • 5. Discussion • 6. Practice by doing • 7. Explaining to others Audio-visual Demonstrations Discussion Explaining to others Listening Practice by doing Reading

    18. Explaining how (sequencing) A explains to B: how to make a cup of tea B explains to A: how to brush your teeth N.B. Instructor may assume normal adult level of comprehension, but role of instructee is to be as awkward as possible, suggesting gaps or vaguenesses in the instructions.

    19. Explain and Enquire – a routine for better learning • Instead of plenary review, with the teacher asking questions to check learning (often with only a few giving the answers) pupils review in pairs trying to explain to each other (or, better still, to keyword in writing) the main things they can remember from the lesson. • They are also expected to come up between them with a question about something they have forgotten or don’t fully understand, or a new field of enquiryabout something connected with the topic. • These questions/enquiries could either be dealt with there and then, or ‘posted’ for further attention in the next appropriate lesson. Or pupils might enter them into their Thought Journals or Enquiry Diaries

    20. Inspirers of Dialogue and Enquiry The value of learning with and from others in dialogue, and especially through raising questions and reasoning about answers, has long been recognised by philosophers, educators and psychologists. Perhaps the most important names in this story are: • SOCRATES (famous for the Socratic Method) • DEWEY (for proposing education as Inquiry, and learning as Reflection) • VYGOTSKY (for proposing Socially Mediated Learning) Think – Pair - Share

    21. Socratic Questioning – the MTV stepsto understanding and good judgement 1. Questions of Meaning: Could you explain more clearly (or give an example)? How does X relate to Y? (or, How is X different from Y)? 2. Questions of Truth (and Validity) Is that true? (or, What makes you think – or assume - that?) Does that follow? (or, What follows from that?) 3. Questions of Value What is interesting, or important, in this? What lessons can we draw from this? (or, So, what?)

    22. Talking and P4C “The teacher’s goal is to teach students to be better thinkers, and to do so by engaging students in dialogue.” “No programme I am aware of is more likely to teach durable and transferable thinking skills  than Philosophy for Children.” Robert Sternberg, Former President of the American Psychological Association, and creator of the Triarchic theory of intelligence: Analytical, Creative and Practical

    23. Aims of P4C “The aim of a thinking skills program such as P4C to help (children) become more thoughtful, more reflective, more considerate and more reasonable individuals.” Matthew Lipman (1924 - )

    24. The 4 Cs of P4C

    25. A – Z of Ideas A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    26. Pause for reflection on future learning Dialogue (esp. w.r.t. T & L) What would you still like to know about DT&L?

    27. Not a programme but a ideal Dialogic teaching is not a single set method of teaching. It is more a professional outlook or state of mind than a specific method. It requires us to rethink not just the techniques we use, but the classroom relationships we foster and the balance of power between teacher and taught. Robin Alexander, Towards Dialogic Teaching, 2004

    28. CEC, Exeter - Definition of a Thinking School An educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place. This will involve both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities.

    29. CEC, Exeter - Definition of a Thinking School Successful outcomes will be reflected in students across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning. Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.