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CEDiR: Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group

Primary classroom dialogue

What is CEDiR?

The Faculty of Education has a history of world-leading research on educational dialogue – most notably the work of Professors Neil Mercer, Christine Howe and Robin Alexander. CEDiR’s aim is to consolidate and extend this research, reaching across disciplines and contexts to develop the potential of educational dialogue and impact on theory, policy and practice.

CEDiR members represent all academic groups in the Faculty, drawn together through a common interest in dialogue. The group seeks to promote collaboration and develop capacity at all levels, with a focus on supporting postgraduate students, research associates and other early career staff. It is forging links with senior academics and practitioners in the field worldwide and already has a substantial number of high profile international partners. Its main priority is on creating a supportive environment for creating and sharing high quality research.

Upcoming Events

CEDiR’s focus and scope

  • Educationally productive dialogue and dialogic pedagogy, both as a means to support substantive learning, and as an end in itself
  • All levels of education, in formal and informal settings, including teachers and learners
  • Cross-disciplinary research: education/curriculum studies, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, social anthropology, political science, religious studies
  • Cross-subject areas, building on existing strengths in work in literacy, science, maths, history and RE, for example
  • Inter-cultural and ethical perspectives on dialogue and democracy (peace education)
  • Digital technology-mediated dialogue
  • Dialogue for school improvement
  • Dialogue for teacher education and development
  • Critiquing the value and impact of educational dialogue, for example asking: Is it helpful for learning to be open to new ideas, attuned to others, asking more questions?

What is educational dialogue?

This remains an open question within CEDiR – we are working towards consensus. Our current working definitions can be found here.

Selected current projects

(a full list of projects is available here)

  • Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum (DiDiAC) – a 2.5 year, Research Council of Norway funded project conducting design-based research for developing 21st century skills in Norwegian and English secondary schools, drawing on the micro-blogging tool Talkwall 
  • Classroom Dialogue: Does it make a difference for learning? - A major 2-year ESRC-funded experimental design project exploring the link between the dialogicality of Year 6 lessons in English, Maths and science and outcomes in standardised tests
  • The role of dialogic a/symmetrical interactions among peers in diverse, multimodal reading situations – a 2-year British Academy/Leverhulme project investigating the role of dialogic a/symmetrical interactions among peers in diverse, multimodal reading situations in primary classrooms in the UK and Mexico.

CEDiR Members

The group is convened by Sara Hennessy, Rupert Wegerif, Hilary Cremin, Riikka Hofmann, Ruth Kershner, Fiona Maine, Louis Major, Maria Vrikki and Paul Warwick.

For a full list of members, see here. For international associates and partners, see here.