© 2004

Dialogic Learning

Shifting Perspectives to Learning, Instruction, and Teaching

  • Jos van der Linden
  • Peter Renshaw

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Introduction

    1. Peter D. Renshaw
      Pages 1-15
  3. Dialogic Learning: Culture and Identity

    1. Ed Elbers, Mariëtte de Haan
      Pages 17-43
    2. Cushla Kapitzke, Peter D. Renshaw
      Pages 45-61
    3. Geert Ten Dam, Monique Volman, Wim Wardekker
      Pages 63-85
    4. Kerstin Bergqvist, Roger Säljö
      Pages 109-124
  4. Dialogic Learning: Multiple Perspectives on the Social Construction of Knowledge

    1. Carla Van Boxtel
      Pages 125-143
    2. Rijkje Dekker, Marianne Elshout-Mohr, Terry Wood
      Pages 145-170
    3. Sinikka Kaartinen, Kristiina Kumpulainen
      Pages 171-189
    4. Gijsbert Erkens
      Pages 191-216
    5. Pascal Huguet, Jean_Marc Monteil, Florence Dumas
      Pages 217-231
    6. Angela M. O’Donnell
      Pages 233-250
  5. Epilogue

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-263

About this book


Contemporary researchers have analysed dialogue primarily in terms of instruction, conversation or inquiry. There is an irreducible tension when the terms ‘dialogue’ and ‘instruction’ are brought together, because the former implies an emergent process of give-and-take, whereas the latter implies a sequence of predetermined moves. It is argued that effective teachers have learned how to perform in this contradictory space to both follow and lead, to be both responsive and directive, to require both independence and receptiveness from learners. Instructional dialogue, therefore, is an artful performance rather than a prescribed technique. Dialogues also may be structured as conversations which function to build consensus, conformity to everyday ritualistic practices, and a sense of community. The dark side of the dialogic ‘we’ and the community formed around ‘our’ and ‘us’ is the inevitable boundary that excludes ‘them’ and ‘theirs’. When dialogues are structured to build consensus and community, critical reflection on the bases of that consensus is required and vigilance to ensure that difference and diversity are not being excluded or assimilated (see Renshaw, 2002). Again it is argued that there is an irreducible tension here because understanding and appreciating diversity can be achieved only through engagement and living together in communities. Teachers who work to create such communities in their classrooms need to balance the need for common practices with the space to be different, resistant or challenging – again an artful performance that is difficult to articulate in terms of specific teaching techniques.


Elaboration cognition intercultural learning language learning

Editors and affiliations

  • Jos van der Linden
    • 1
  • Peter Renshaw
    • 2
  1. 1.University of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Griffith UniversityAustralia

Bibliographic information