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Challenging Learning Through Dialogue

Challenging Learning Through Dialogue
Strategies to Engage Your Students and Develop Their Language of Learning

First Edition

Foreword by Douglas Fisher

December 2016 | 208 pages | Corwin

Using classroom discussions to teach good habits of thinking 

Classroom discussion has a major effect on student learning. In fact, dialogue is one of the best vehicles for learning how to think, make moral decisions, and understand another person’s point of view. Research also indicates that most teachers talk too much in the classroom and don’t wait long enough for students to respond. How do we improve the quality of classroom discussion? Challenging Learning Through Dialogue transforms the most up-to-date research into practical strategies that work. Readers will learn

  • How to build in more “wait-time” for better quality thinking and questioning from students
  • How to use dialogue to teach reasoning, collaboration, and good habits of thinking
  • The three types of dialogue and how to teach the most effective version: exploratory talk
  • Dozens of practical strategies for exploratory dialogue
  • Global examples of fun ways to teach dialogue
  • An innovative new instructional strategy called Classroom Mysteries

Written by an internationally known team of educational innovators, this book is for all educators who aim to use effective classroom dialogue to engage students in learning. 

"This valuable book is a must for teachers and families who wish to have their children learn to think and communicate with greater precision and clarity.”
Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D., Professor Emeritus
California State University Sacramento and Co-Director, International Institute for Habits of Mind

"James Nottingham’s work on Challenging Learning is a critical element of creating Visible Learners. This new series will help teachers hone the necessary pedagogical skills of dialogue, feedback, questioning, and mindset.”
John Hattie, Professor & Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute
University of Melbourne

List of Figures
The Challenging Learning Story
Foreword by Douglas Fisher
About the Authors
The Language of Learning
Chapter 1: Why Dialogue?
1.0 Why Dialogue?

1.1 Reasons for Dialogue 1: Learning How to Think

1.2 Reasons for Dialogue 2: From Surface to Deep

1.3 Reasons for Dialogue 3: Creating a Climate of Trust

1.4 Reasons for Dialogue 4: Developing Language to Express Understanding

1.5 Review

1.6 Next Steps

Chapter 2: Dialogue Essentials
2.0 Dialogue Basics

2.1 Putting Dialogue in the Context of Educational Objectives

2.2 The Hidden Classroom

2.3 Active Engagement

2.4 Conditions for Successful Dialogue

2.5 Language for Dialogue

2.6 Exploratory Talk

2.7 Review

2.8 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 3: Dialogue to Engage Students
3.0 Preview

3.1 Getting the Ethos Right

3.2 Issuing Invitations

3.3 Encouraging and Engaging

3.4 Restating

3.5 Reformulating

3.6 Review

3.7 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 4: One Way to Learn How to Think: Develop Reasoning
4.0 Preview

4.1 The Language of Reasoning

4.2 Developing the Language of Reasoning

4.3 Process of Reasoning

4.4 Routines to Develop Reasoning

4.5 Developing a Reasoning Repertoire

4.6 Reasoning Moves

4.7 Review

4.8 Next Steps

Chapter 5: Dialogue Groupings
5.0 Preview

5.1 Dialogue Groupings

5.2 Ground Rules for Dialogue Groups

5.3 Whole-Group Dialogue

5.4 Splitting Large Groups Into Two

5.5 Small-Group Dialogues With a Teacher

5.6 Small-Group Dialogues Without a Teacher

5.7 Final Word About Groupings

5.8 Review

5.9 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 6: Dialogue Detectives
6.0 Preview

6.1 Appointing Dialogue Detectives

6.2 Clues to Detect: Focusing on Performance

6.3 Clues to Detect: Focusing on Thinking Structures

6.4 Other Clues to Detect

6.5 Review

6.6 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 7: Dialogue Structures
7.0 Preview

7.1 Paired Dialogue

7.2 Opinion Lines

7.3 Opinion Corners

7.4 Choosing Corners

7.5 Talking Heads

7.6 Jigsaw Groups

7.7 Clustering

7.8 Review

7.9 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 8: Mysteries
8.0 Preview

8.1 Mysteries

8.2 Running a Mystery

8.3 Mysteries in Practice

8.4 Questioning Cause and Effect Within Mysteries

8.5 Reviewing a Mystery Using the SOLO Taxonomy

8.6 Writing Your Own Mysteries

8.7 Review

8.8 Next Steps and Further Reading

8.9.1 Mystery: Should Bjørn Move to France?

8.9.2 Mystery: Louis Pasteur and the Anthrax Vaccine

8.9.3 Mystery: Is Sally a Good Friend?

Chapter 9: Odd One Out
9.0 Preview

9.1 Odd One Out

9.2 Benefits of Odd One Out

9.3 How to Use Odd One Out Effectively

9.4 Why and When to Use Odd One Out

9.5 Odd One Out Variations

9.6 Odd One Out Examples

9.7 Extending Odd One Out With Venn Diagrams

9.8 Review

9.9 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 10: Fortune Lines
10.0 Preview

10.1 Fortune Lines

10.2 Using Fortune Lines

10.3 Fortune Line of Henry VIII

10.4 Fortune Line for a Visit to Grandma's

10.5 Review

10.6 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 11: Philosophy for Children (P4C)
11.0 Preview

11.1 Philosophy for Children

11.2 The Community of Inquiry

11.3 Philosophical Questions

11.4 Dialogue Through P4C

11.5 P4C Sequence—Overview

11.6 P4C Sequence—In Depth

11.7 Review

11.8 Next Steps and Further Reading

Chapter 12: Dialogue Exercises in P4C
12.0 Preview

12.1 Dialogue Exercises

12.2 Make a Choice, Give a Reason

12.3 Concept Stretching: Fairness

12.4 Review

12.5 Next Steps and Further Reading

Appendix 1. Dialogue Detectives
Appendix 2. Louis Pasteur Script
Repertoire and Judgment Notes

"James Nottingham’s work on Challenging Learning is a critical element of creating Visible Learners. This new series will help teachers hone the necessary pedagogical skills of dialogue, feedback, questioning, and mindset. There’s no better resource to encourage all learners to know and maximize their impact!"

John Hattie, Professor & Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute
University of Melbourne

"Challenging Learning Through Dialogue provides educators with meaningful, purposeful, and practical strategies to create high quality dialogue. Underpinned by extensive educational research, these methods will help students achieve deep level thinking and learning through the power of our language. It is inspiring, insightful, and a MUST read for all educators. Absolutely Brilliant!"

Sophie Murphy, Clinical Teaching Specialist, Lecturer & Researcher
Science of Learning Research Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Australia

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

James Andrew Nottingham

James Nottingham is co-founder and director of Challenging Learning, a group of companies with 30 employees in 6 countries. His passion is in transforming the most up-to-date research into strategies that really work in the classroom. He is regarded by many as one of the most engaging, thought-provoking and inspirational speakers in education. His first book, Challenging Learning, was published in 2010 and has received widespread critical acclaim. Since then, he has written 6 books for teachers, leaders, support staff, and parents. These books share the best research and practice connected with learning; dialogue; feedback; the... More About Author

Jill Nottingham

Jill Nottingham’s background is in teaching, leadership and consultancy.  She has been a teacher and leader in kindergartens and schools in some of the more socially deprived areas of North East England.  During that time, she developed many approaches to teaching children how to learn that are still being used in schools and taught in universities today. Jill has also trained with Edward de Bono at the University of Malta, and has studied for a Masters degree in Education with the University of Newcastle.Jill now leads Challenging Learning’s pre-school and primary school consultancy.  She has written many of the Challenging... More About Author

Martin Renton

Martin Renton is Challenging Learning's Director of Consultancy and Evaluations. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, leader, facilitator and coach.Martin’s excellent reputation is well earned. His core belief that professional development is not a ‘quick fix’ but a deep process of change has led to some very powerful effects in schools and colleges around the world. Teachers and leaders who have worked with Martin over an extended period of time refer to increased engagement, motivation and progress for all students.Martin ensures that all our Challenging Learning trainers blend theories of learning with active... More About Author

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