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Research approaches

dialogic2CamTalk draws on the work of Robin Alexander, Neil Mercer, and others in the field of dialogue (see bibliography). It uses a model of research developed through CamSTAR (Cambridge, School Teachers and Research) in which teachers become the instruments of their own professional development.

CamTalk is also investigating teachers’ use of e-portfolios to create a dialogic space of reflection on practice. This will contribute to a theory-building dimension exploring the place of dialogue in knowledge construction in different subject areas.

CamTalk is guided by the following research questions:

  1. In which ways and to what extent can we say that developing dialogic strategies in the secondary classroom impacts on student learning?
  2. In which ways and to what extent can we say that classroom practices in assessment as learning are enhanced by the explicit use of dialogic strategies in secondary subject teaching?
  3. In developing impact factors with teachers in order to evaluate dialogic teaching in the classroom, in which ways and to what extent can we say that teachers’ understanding of dialogic teaching and its relationship with effective learning has been enhanced?
  4. What are the factors for teachers working within a teacher research environment which support effective CPD practices in developing dialogic approaches in the secondary classroom, including the use of e-portfolios?

The evidence collected to answer these questions include:quote3

  • Teachers’ reflective journals
  • Videoed lesson observations and transcripts
  • Teachers’ notes on observed lessons
  • Interviews with teachers and students
  • Teacher questionnaires
  • Analysis of transcript data and school performance data

Published Papers:

Rupert Higham, Sue Brindley and Janneke van de Pol (In press) Shifting the primary focus: Assessing the case for dialogic education in secondary classrooms, Language and Education.

CamTalk teachers' research:

Hedi Jansen (2012) Hedi Jansen - scaffolding through dialogue