Educational dialogues : understanding and promoting by Karen Littleton

By Karen Littleton

Offers an illustrated case for the significance of debate and its position in constructing non-passive interactive learning.

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Hmelo-Silver and M. Cesar (eds) Investigating Classroom Interaction: methodologies in action, London: Sense Publishers. Mercer, N. (2004) ‘Sociocultural discourse analysis: analysing classroom talk as a social mode of thinking’, Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1:137–68. Mercer, N. and Littleton, K. (2007) Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking: a sociocultural approach, London: Routledge. Mercer, N. and Wegerif, R. ’, in K. Littleton and P. Light (eds) Learning with Computers: analysing productive interaction, London: Routledge.

Annie confirms this by responding with faint laughter in her voice (204). She then turns back to her notes and reads out loud how she has taken this into consideration when describing Russia. Benny is positive about Annie’s description (205), and she continues to write (206). Benny then contributes to the version they are co-producing by adding a made up, but potentially useful, argument about raising the price of oil to reduce consumption (207). Agreeing with Benny that this is a useful argument, Annie continues to elaborate her own formulations and then adds Benny’s contribution to their notes (208).

What are you going to do about that? 403. ANNIE: safety? ((clears her throat)) 404. DANIEL: yes 405. ANNIE: well u:hm well we concentrate on improving safety 406 (1 s) 406. BENNY: and [reduce] nuclear power 407. ) yeah 408. PETER: ((raises his hand)) uhu so what were you thinking would replace nuclear power then? 409. BENNY: water power- uhm stations and wind power turbines is what we have thought of 410. ANNIE: yep 24 M. Åberg et al. 2 The students have taken their place at the stage. Daniel opens the debate.

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