Dialogical practices in education: A collaborative action research

Sonia Lykomitrou, PhD. Candidate, University of West Macedonia

Sofia Avgitidou, Associate Professor, University of West Macedonia

Abstract: The aim of this research is twofold.  First, it aims to study the verbal interactions between teachers and children during teacher-organized activities in early childhood education (ECE) and analyze them in relation to the opportunities children have to be involved in dialogical practices.  Second, it explores the results from a collaborative action research project aiming at the enhancement and improvement of dialogical practices in ECE. Collaborative action research included three individual interviews with teachers prior, during and after the action research, five group meetings and taped recordings of teacher-children’s verbal interactions at different times during the school year.

Analysis of the results showed that ECE teachers’ initial understanding and practice of dialogue was related to children’s acquisition of knowledge and the learning of rules such as turn-taking and listening to others, rather than children’s participation in the construction of knowledge.  ECE teachers’ initial practices involved more closed than open-ended questions and few opportunities for children to be involved in exploratory talk.  However, ECE teachers’ perspectives about dialogue and related practices changed through the course of action research after theoretical and practical support in researching, trying out new practices and reflecting upon them. 


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