Teacher talking time essay

Rabel and Wooldridge suggested that when exploratory talk was facilitated effectively, it enabled pupils to scaffold their own learning and access mathematical content through group discussions, working particularly well for pupils of average attainment. In the National Curriculum for Mathematics it is stated that children should use talk to develop their mathematical reasoning through justifying concepts through the use of appropriate vocabulary DfE, ; although this was not in the NC at the time of the study, the aim mirrors the findings of Rabel and Wooldridge, showing that talk for learning is becoming an increasingly recognised and important pedagogy.

Similarly, Wheeldon conducted research in her own Year One class due to the realisation that children rarely spoke to one another during group activities in maths lessons, mainly relying on her input as their teacher to assist and intervene when difficulties arose.

During the study, Wheeldon implemented rules for talk, modelling the foundations of exploratory talk, which children increasingly adopted independently during maths investigations. This implies that with appropriate guidance and opportunities, children are able to access knowledge using exploratory talk as a learning tool. Furthermore, guidelines are seen to provide a shared expectation of how talk is used in the classroom, meaning that children are aware of the purpose of talk, continually practising how to use it effectively to communicate and enhance their own learning.

An example of this in practice is discussed by Pratt ; during a practical, teacher-led activity regarding symmetry, children actively engaged with the demonstration through listening and responding effectively. Although the teacher dominated the dialogue, pupils were able to expand on comments made by the teacher through answering open-ended questions.

Chapter 1. Why Talk Is Important in Classrooms

It would have been beneficial for a comparative study to be conducted simultaneously, allowing a similarly attaining group of children to engage with the same activity without the presence of a teacher. The results of a comparative simultaneous study would have shown whether children could reach a sound understanding of symmetry using the same resources, through discussing collaboratively without adult intervention.

Educationalists do recognise that collective thinking is not without its limitations; Rajala, Hilppo and Lipponen express concerns that exploratory talk is not always accessible to all children due to members of the group appearing to dominate conversations. It was also found that children are unlikely to voice their thoughts unless they feel safe to do so, without ridicule Mercer and Dawes, ; Wolfe and Alexander, Tolmie et al. In a separate study, some children stated they felt impolite when challenging what their classmates had said Robins, It is therefore questionable whether exploratory talk is appropriately facilitated by teachers in order to be inclusive and free from judgement.

Mercer and Dawes suggest that teachers should facilitate exploratory talk more frequently, especially in the initial stages of a new topic, as this is where pupils are forming and merging concepts. Whilst this pedagogy does encourage children to formulate thoughtful answers collaboratively instead of immediately responding to questions without being given time to think, it could be interpreted that the strategy is a way of children simply rehearsing answers as opposed to engaging with new learning.

It is suggested that systematic, targeted questions should be posed in order for dialogic learning and exploratory talk to transpire Wolfe and Alexander, ; Kazepides, The Bullock Report DES, stresses the complexity of lessons, emphasising the difficulties that teachers face with regards to balancing the length of time they spend leading discussions and the amount of time they allow for pupil exploratory talk.

Arnott supports this finding, stating that when teaching, she often found herself asking closed-questions requiring an instant response to sustain the pace and direction of the lesson. In addition to this, Arnott also details difficulties in knowing when or how to generate moments for exploratory talk. This raises concerns that teachers may lack confidence in implementing purposeful talk, or that they may be unsure of how to embed it within a lesson.

In an ever-developing technology-orientated world, pedagogy involving ICT is more prevalent in primary classrooms Beauchamp, Whilst it may be common for children to work relatively silently and individually at computer stations, Knight and Mercer argue that Computing lessons offer a multitude of opportunities for exploratory talk to transpire, particularly when it comes to children searching online for information.

Their research discussed the prior concern that children lack the ability to determine the reliability of sources online. Following the implementation of the study, most children were able to effectively discuss the internet search results in an exploratory manner to determine their suitability. Although small-scale, this study shows that the facilitation of exploratory talk can effectively be adopted in lessons across the range of subjects in the National Curriculum DfE, In addition to facilitating exploratory talk between groups of pupils during the main part of lessons, Kerawalla, Petrou and Scanlon suggest that plenaries can offer ideal opportunities for exploratory talk to transpire.

Through setting ground rules and allowing exploratory talk to emerge, stimulated by asking open-ended and evaluative questions, teachers were able to engage children in expanded answers to consolidate what they had learnt in science lessons. Similarly, an Australian study found that using the interactive whiteboard stimulated exploratory talk and dialogic exchanges in whole-class learning; lessons were less dominated by teacher-led talk, which allowed children to interact with one another with the teacher taking on the role as the facilitator of pupil-pupil discourse Maher, However, their study also found that cognition and achievement were improved due to more frequent collaborative work, but there is recognition that children will not all benefit from such activities.

Nevertheless, research studies show that the majority of children regard talk as an important part of their learning experience, and motivated further learning during lessons Braund and Leigh, It is evident that collaborative interactions are often found to be difficult to manage between pupils; irrelevant contributions may lead them away from the topic of intended focus Wolfe and Alexander, Venville supports this finding and appears to suggest that when children discuss and hypothesise without adult intervention, they could reach an agreement which is in fact incorrect.

This is deemed problematic due to teachers then having to rectify misconceptions that pupils may not have encountered had the teacher been present during the discussion. When discussions were monitored however, Venville found that interactions between the teacher and the child produced higher quality understanding and reasoning. This further promotes the notion that rules and guidance would be required before students could fully engage in exploratory talk without an adult.

Alexander, R. Towards Dialogic Teaching: Rethinking classroom talk. Yorkshire: Dialogos. Oxon: Routledge. Arnott, N. Substantive Conversations — The importance of oracy in the classroom: Practically Primary. Arthur, J. Learning to Teach in the Primary School. Barnes, D. Exploratory Talk for Learning. Exploring Talk in School. London: Sage. Beauchamp, G. Essex: Pearson Education Limited. Bignell, C.

Talk in the primary curriculum: seeking pupil empowerment in current curriculum approaches: Literacy. Braund, M. Research in Science Education. Bruner, J. London: Routledge. Cohrssen, C. Purposeful pauses: teacher talk during early childhood mathematics activities: International Journal of Early Years Education.

Clark, A. P and Boucher, J. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Daniel, M-F. Nottingham: DCSF. Department for Education DfE. The National Curriculum: Handbook for primary teachers in England. London: DfE. Department for Education DfE The Bullock Report: A language for life. London: DES. Evans, R.

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Perspectives on oracy — towards a theory of practice: Early Child Development and Care. Fisher, R. Teaching Thinking: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom. London: Continuum. Jones, D.

Unlocking Speaking and Listening. London: David Fulton Publishers. Kazepides, T. Education as Dialogue: Educational Philosophy and Theory. Kerawalla, L. Technology, Pedagogy and Education.

Knight, S. The role of exploratory talk in classroom search engines tasks. Lambirth, A.


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Ground rules for talk: the acceptable face of prescription. Curriculum Journal. Littleton, K. Interthinking: Putting talk back into work. Maher, D. Teaching literacy in primary schools using an interactive whole-class technology: facilitating student-to-student whole-class dialogic interactions. We need to allow all students time to think, not just the quick ones. Students who have time to think before speaking are more likely to volunteer an answer, and have a better chance of giving an appropriate answer.

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Wait time expects all students to think and respond, rather than getting drowned out by the fastest response. Choose something that is less obtrusive than hands waving in the air and also is not as tiring for the students; and. Wait time after a student has answered a question is also valuable. It encourages students to elaborate on their answer, or for other students to join in the conversation.

Often the traditional focus of the room is the teacher at the front, which gives an immediate impression of an authority figure. Help Students Become Better Questioners. Before offering an answer to the class, ask the student to discuss the answer with someone near them. See how much time is really spent with you talking and the students listening or not. Learn to keep your instructions and explanations brief and to the point. Only say it once — so they have to listen. Teachers Talk Too Much. Mendler, A. Artze-Vega, I. Linsin, M. MacPherson, J.