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It’s Good to Talk Bradford Teachers’ Project

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1 It’s Good to Talk Bradford Teachers’ Project
Day 2: Teachers Talking

2 Aims of the Day Exploring how whole class talk can be used to promote participation in active learning, and how teachers can investigate classroom talk in their own classrooms, including: Exploring dialogic talk; Patterns of classroom interaction; Differential patterns of participation by students; Strategies to promote the participation of learners in learning interactions; Investigating classroom talk and establishing how to take the project forward.

3 Dialogic Talk Monologic teacher – concerned to transmit knowledge; convey information; and maintain control of talk Dialogic teacher – concerned to create authentic exchanges, learning through exploration and collaborative talk Teachers’ concerns with what they want to teach sometimes means pupils don’t learn. ‘However unequal the balance of knowledge between teacher and learner, there is no way in which the knowledge of the teacher can be transmitted directly to the learner.’ (Wells 1986)

4 Dialogic Talk Socratic dialogue: a dialectal process in which teacher and student share a joint inquiry in the search for a truth unknown to both parties. Aims to promote critical thinking and inquiry. By engaging in genuine dialogue with others, individuals can operate at a higher level of thinking than would be possible on their own. ‘Dialogic teaching is distinct from the question-answer-tell routines of so-called ‘interactive’ teaching, aiming to be more consistently searching and more genuinely reciprocal and cumulative’ Alexander 2004

5 Dialogic Teaching Collective: teachers and children address learning tasks together, whether as a group or class; Reciprocal: teachers and children listen to each other, share ideas and consider alternative viewpoints Supportive: children articulate their ideas freely, without fear of embarrassment over ‘wrong’ answers; and they help each other to reach common understandings; Cumulative: teachers and children build on their own and each other’s ideas and chain them into coherent lines of enquiry; Purposeful: teachers plan and steer classroom talk with specific educational goals in view Robin Alexander

6 What does dialogic talk look like?
Children share a common goal or purpose Children allow each other to speak Children ask questions in order to understand better Children paraphrase or reflect back each other’s words Children are prepared to express uncertainty or tentativeness Children try to make their own point as clearly as possible Children explore differences of opinion Children give arguments to support their ideas

7 Teachers Talk Teacher-led whole class talk:
In primary, a child’s response averages 4 words High-achievers volunteer more and are invited to answer more Teachers’ questions need teachers’ answers Interactive teaching generates limited interaction An emphasis on pace leads to closed responses

8 So who talks? Whole class talk tends not just to be teacher-led, but teacher dominated Teachers have a turn for every alternate utterance Teachers’ contributions to the talk are longer and more extended Teachers control the questions Teachers control who answers

9 Talk Patterns Recitation script: interaction-response-feedback
Table tennis: interaction-response-interaction-response Teacher-child-teacher-child rather than teacher-child-child Heavy use of teacher echoing and repetition Teachers ask questions to find out what children know Children don’t ask questions to find answers to things they don’t know

10 Participation Patterns
Classroom interaction patterns are predominantly teacher-initiated. There is very little child-initiated interaction The most frequent types of response are putting hands up, being invited to answer questions and joining in collective responses. There are more differences in engagement patterns in whole class teaching between the achievement groups than between the gender groups. Low achievers are less engaged than high achievers in whole class interactions.

11 Increasing Participation
create psychological safety (Pass; traffic lights …) seating strategies (varied for purpose) physical resources (whiteboards; cards; counters…) randomising strategies (Talking Hat; bingo numbers..) operate a ‘no hands up’ policy (teacher selection) give thinking time (use IWB timer/egg timer…) disrupt whole class talk with quick burst of pair or group talk generate expectation of all responding (write down 2 things…)

12 Investigating Classroom Talk

13 Collecting Evidence HOW WHY Video data To inform reflective practice
Audio data – MP3 players Classroom observation Interviewing students about what they have learnt WHY To inform reflective practice To see or hear what often goes unnoticed To understand the student perspective To allow detailed analysis or reflection

14 In your own classrooms What talk activities happen?
How well do they go? Who talks? What would you want to improve? What are your own strengths?

15 Teacher Reflections Only a few children responded by putting their hands up. I need to ensure as an outcome that all children are involved. I would like to have more impact on the whole class. Talk in my classroom is very much directed towards those children who have the confidence to ‘put their hand up’. I would like even more involvement. I need to make a conscious effort to scan around the group more so that these things [non-participation] don’t go unnoticed.

16 Teachers’ Voices I have been able to adapt and refine my teaching strategies to stimulate greater participation from my class. It has enabled me to consider the participation levels within my own classroom and to reflect upon how different curriculum areas, pairings, resources and the types of talk can influence this participation. It has enabled me to analyse the impact of different teaching methods I already use and encouraged me to try something new.

17 Video and audio data Have a clear focus
Having someone operating the camera only draws attention to it, once you have sorted out the best position and camera angle, just press record Be sure you know what the camera is capturing Acclimatise the children to the camera by having it around before you actually use it. Sound quality in a noisy classroom! Would audio data be just as good?

18 Interviewing children
Think about it as an opportunity for talk! Could it be used as part of a talk activity? Different players? Teacher – child Teacher – pair or group Child - child Older child – younger child Parent - child What do you learn? What does the child learn?

19 Focuses for Network Days
Day 3 Mar 2nd Questioning Learning: exploring how teachers can use questioning to scaffold higher level thinking. Day 4 May 6th Developing Listening: exploring how to support children in becoming effective listeners Day 5 July 13th From Talk to Text: exploring how talk can support the development of writing. Day 6 Oct 5th Drawing on Prior Learning and Experience: exploring the importance of students’ prior and out-of-school knowledge. Day 7 Jan 18th Plenary day: Teacher Presentations and identifying the next steps.

20 Next Network Day Pre-session task:
Audio or video record three question and answer sessions; Choose one to transcribe or transcribe all three; Try to capture children’s responses too; Bring transcript to the first Network Day.

21 Pedagogic dialogue: Teacher-controlled, closed interaction with limited opportunities for participation, reflection or extended contributions: the teacher owns the truth and corrects error Dialogic pedagogy: Teacher-managed interaction in which the dialogue is all-important, where children voice their own evaluative judgements, with an open structure: a participatory mode

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