A Dialogic Teaching Approach: Talk Moves to Deepen Students’ Understanding in the Geography Classroom, pp. 8 of 12

Moreover, the students were mainly leading the discussions while the teacher was present to guide them along when needed (turns 55 and 59). The students’ responses were not only more than one word replies, but were rich in content as well.

The alternative form of interaction from the traditional IRF format helps to sustain the interaction in the classroom as the teacher prompted further to get the students to elaborate their point of view (turn 55–61). Extended interaction chains of dialogue are vehicles for sustained thinking to support students to elaborate their answers and support them to make explicit their thinking process (Thompson, 2008). It can be seen that students (as opposed to just the teacher) also initiated the sequence by posing a question (turn 51). This shows that students were genuinely engaged in the classroom conversations.

Organic processing & construction of knowledge

When the student-teachers were teaching and explaining certain processes in the class, the delivery was hesitant and broken. Referring to turns 70 and 72 (Excerpt 5), it can be seen that the interaction exchanges had several halts and were rather disjointed with abrupt interjections of ‘Uhhmm’s and ‘Errr’s.

Excerpt 5:



Mr Andrew! You are a teacher now. Can you explain to us how altitude influences temperature?




So, every 1000 metres is decrease by the atmosphere the temperature will decrease by 6.5 degrees. Uhhmm… Example. I draw an example. This is a mountain. So imagine the surface has a temperature of 36.5 degrees celsius. So when it increases by a 1000 metres, the temperature will soon become 30 degree celsius. So… uhmmm…. If increase by another 1000 metre, then the temperature will drop to 23.5 degree celsius. There is also a radiation called the short wave radiation. It is caused by the heat short wave radiation from the sun. So when the shortwave radiation hits the ground it will not just dissipate it will be converted to long wave radiation. So the long wave radiation is denser than air, the ground absorbs more and the higher the temperature will be. Uhhhm… ya, that’s all.




What is altitude?




Errr…. The altitude is errr….the elevation between the ground to the atmosphere.


The nature of the talk was sound choppy and incomplete but this is an expected outcome – the sudden jerks and changes in direction show that the student-teacher is engaging in deep thought and is thinking ‘aloud’ in class (Barnes, 1976/1992).

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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