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Dialogic literacy |
In recent years, the school changed its vision of a teacher and how he teaches. In Kazakhstan, the State pays great attention to school education. Many teachers take first, second and third level courses for the purpose of training and improving the quality and effectiveness of their lessons. However, not all teachers are ready for such changes. Today, ‘dialogic literacy’ is believed as combination of pedagogy and technology. The world is changing; today's students are very different from those that were 10 years ago. Accordingly, we, teachers, must go with the times, and meet all the requirements of the 21st century. Students of the 21st century are high-intellectual, critical thinking, creative, reflectors on themselves and their own, which means the ability to self-education, self-improvement and self-evaluation.
Development for me as a teacher, is an integral part of improving teaching practice. In this regard, new methods and technologies help me to be more creative and effective teacher. Recently, I have studied on third (basic) level courses created by Cambridge University. I was introduced with 7 modules of this program, and dialogical learning refers to one of them. This module assumes that the dialogue between students, between the student and the teacher helps students to independently create and develop their own thinking and understanding. According to Mercer (1995) and Alexander (2008), teaching and learning through dialogue serve as important contemporary interpretations of socio-constructive ideas.
“Dialogic literacy” as it is stated in Abbey’s article, is the capacity of a person to interact productively generating deep insights and understanding of a topic and in some cases even to engage in dialogue which results in problem solving (2005). In the past, teaching was focused on developing numeric and literacy skills of students. However, 21st century demands other skills as critical thinking, problem solving, decision making and communicative ones.
Mercer and Littleton (2007) have shown that classroom dialogue can contribute to children’s intellectual development and their educational attainment. Research suggests that both Faculty of Education interaction with adults and collaboration with peers can provide opportunities for children’s learning and for their cognitive development. In addition, as stated by Vygotsky, social interaction is in the core of children’s cognitive development. Students learn and benefit more through interaction with peers. As for my teaching practice, I tend to organize pair or small group work consisting of less and more able students. In other words, according to Vygotsky’s model of learning, “students are more likely to learn where there are opportunities for dialogue with more knowledgeable others. Such others might be peers or teachers”.
In the article Abbey claims, that pedagogy and technology are correlated since they both are key factors of successful academic process in today schools. However, there are some challenges in connecting pedagogy with technology.
Firstly, rapidly developing technologies are to connect with new pedagogy, i.e. new approaches in teaching and dialogic learning. However, in order to achieve high academic performance, there must be connection of new technology and new pedagogy (Abbey, 2005).
Secondly, knowledge gap among students might be a hindrance as while less and more able learners are involved in discussion, there are less opportunities to learn from each other’s answers as feedback for further learning.
However, such combination of new technology and teaching methods enables students to use ICT in learning. Teachers can use various activities on a lesson and teachers may differentiate learning based on students’ skills. Moreover, there is a chance for face-to-face and computer-mediated communication (Abbey, 2005).
As was mentioned above, today Kazakhstan is experiencing revolutions in educational system. Teachers are trained to use new teaching tools by developing seven modules of Cambridge level courses, education is student-oriented now, and students are expected to be independent and think critically. Thus, dialogic learning is one of the instruments in developing students’ critical thinking and communicative skills.
To conclude, dialogic literacy is a key factor in developing new demanded skills. Teachers should use dialogue on lessons since Barns (1971) established that students learn more not while passively listening to a teacher, but when verbalizing, discussing, talking and arguing. Teachers should ask students “thick questions” such as “how” and “why” instead of asking “thin questions” as “what” and “who”. Moreover, according to the Learning Pyramid, students learn and remember about 50% of new information while discussing and 90% while transferring their knowledge.
Abbey, N. (2005). Developing 21st century teaching and learning: Dialogic Literacy. Retrieved from Johns Hopkins School of Education http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/litercacy/articles/developing-21st- century-teaching/
The program of training courses of teachers of the Republic of Kazakhstan "Guide for teachers. The third (basic) level" (2012), Astana, AEO" Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools ", third edition.
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