CamTalk originated with an intra schools project in the practitioner research network, CamSTAR (Cambridge, School Teachers And Research). In this project schools explored the impact of introducing dialogic strategies into their classrooms and recorded outcomes for presentation to their own schools and the CamSTAR conference.
Participating schools found that real and positive changes were wrought in the classroom when dialogic strategies were introduced and as a result, the CamSTAR schools decided that the original life span of the project should be extended from a year to three years. Over that time, the findings of the project proved so powerful that we sought funding to allow us to develop a research project looking at dialogic teaching across all secondary subjects.
The funding from Esmee Fairbairn was used to develop a blended learning course which is taught online, focusing on principles of dialogic teaching and learning, classroom impact and dialogic assessment. Over three terms, teachers follow a four module course which includes a small scale research project which they present at our final Conference. Teachers participating are partners in our research and work with us on recording and analysing findings of classroom and professional impact.The project has now developed into a research study with a number of publications emerging (see publications section) exploring dialogic practice in secondary schools. The initial research concentrated on schools in the UK, and has now developed into an international project with colleagues from around the world (Sweden, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, India, South Africa, Australia, USA, Canada, Norway, Israel, Morocco, China, and UK). As one delegate said "we may live in different places in the world, but intellectually we are all in the same place".