A Dialogic Teaching Approach: Talk Moves to Deepen Students’ Understanding in the Geography Classroom, pp. 4 of 12

Findings & Discussion

Through the analysis of the lesson sequences, the main findings were that student-initiated interactions led to more critical and evaluative thinking in students, while teacher-initiated interactions led to fixed IRF sequences where the teacher did most of the talking and students tended to give one-word replies with little scope for discussion.

Teacher-Initiated/Directed Teaching Approach

Through the analysis of the interaction sequences of teacher-directed talk, data showed that teacher-initiated talk generally produced sequences that were authoritative in nature. Moreover, the interaction patterns hindered students from making their thinking explicit, which also limited the scope for discussion in the classroom discourse.

Patterns of interaction & communicative approach

Focusing on the pattern of the moves in the sequence of the teacher-initiated talk, the IRF format generally took on a very distinct triadic structure. Referring to Excerpt 1 below, the pattern of interaction plays out in patterns of three generating interaction chains, which take an I-R-F-I-R-F-… form. This form of chain of interaction is closed in nature where the final evaluation is from the teacher. The students participated less and the bulk of the sequences were the teacher talking.

Excerpt 1:

12

Teacher

Okay, maybe we expand from the point on over usage. Who will overuse it?

I

13

Student A

People who take it for granted.

R

14

Teacher

Okay, can you give me examples?

F–I

15

Student A

Humans.

R

16

Teacher

Definitely. Give me examples on how humans can take it for granted and overuse the water.

F–I

17

Student A

Waste.

R

18

Teacher

Okay. How? [How can humans waste water by overusing it?]

F–I

19

Student B

Open the tap.

R

20

Teacher

When you turn on the tap and then you just let it flow… 

F

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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