TITLE: Building Dialogic Classrooms in Urban Middle Schools and High Schools
ABSTRACT: The benefits of dialogic learning are widely known and accepted, yet studies have shown that most teachers practice more monologic pedagogy that focuses on recitation. This extensive literature review attempts to answer the question: What factors influence an urban middle school or high school teacher's success in building an effective dialogic classroom? This thesis examines teachers’ successes and challenges in initiating and sustaining dialogic discussions in their classrooms. Six characteristics are used to evaluate a classroom as successfully dialogic: flexible power relations, open-divergent questions, meaningful specific feedback, meta-level reflection/meta-talk, elaboration, and collaborative construction of knowledge (Reznitskaya, 2012). One factor considered is the role of teacher beliefs about dialogic teaching on their abilities to facilitate productive classroom discussion. Also considered is the effectiveness of training and professional development on teacher improvement of building dialogic classrooms. Finally, the role of commonly used socratic seminars is examined. As a result of analyzing the literature on dialogic teaching in middle school and high school classrooms, this thesis encourages teachers to be reflective and adaptive in their own practices in facilitating classroom discourse.
COMPLETED: Summer 2021