dialogic teaching in your classroom in order to promote argument literacy

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Dialogic Teaching in Your Classroom in order to Promote Argument Literacy. Monica Glina University of Oslo Joe Oyler, Alina Reznitskaya, Alexandra Major, Laurie Zelman Montclair State University Ian Wilkinson Ohio State University. Sponsor. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Talk Matters!

Dialogic Teaching in Your Classroom in order to Promote Argument LiteracyMonica GlinaUniversity of Oslo Joe Oyler, Alina Reznitskaya, Alexandra Major, Laurie ZelmanMontclair State UniversityIan WilkinsonOhio State University


Introduction to Today, we will discuss an innovative, research-based professional development program designed in collaboration between teachers from New Jersey and the leading national experts in literacy instruction. The program targets upper elementary school teachers and addresses one of the most significant requirements in the latest Common Core State Standards Initiative: the emphasis on the development of students argument literacy. Argument literacy is defined as the ability to comprehend and formulate arguments, when speaking, reading and writing. During the presentation, we will explain how the development of argument literacy is best supported through a pedagogical approach called dialogic teaching. In dialogic teaching, teachers are aware of different patterns of classroom talk, and they use talk to help students learn how to think and argue well. Then, we will participate in a hands-on, practical application of this approach and share strategies for bringing this approach into your classroom.

Part of a 3-year project during which we are designing and researching a professional development program for fifth-grade teachers. This program is developed to help teachers facilitate classroom discussions around text.

2SponsorThe Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of EducationGrant # R305A120634

33Common Core State StandardsTo improve students ability and predisposition to comprehend, formulate and evaluate arguments, or argument literacy

Common Core: Argument skills are broadly important for the literate, educated person living in the diverse, information-rich environment of the twenty-first century (p. 25).


We know from theory and research, that this kind of discussions help students develop the ability to comprehend and formulate arguments through speaking, listening, reading, and writing, or develop argument literacy.

Argument literacy has long been recognized as an important life and academic skill, and it has now made its way to Common Core Standards.

We are happy to see that recent Common Core Standards Initiative puts a special emphasis on argument literacy, so there is now an increased interest in teaching argumentation to students among administrators and practitioners.4Common Core State StandardsIn Grade 5, students will be able to: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly. [formulating arguments when speaking and listening]Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence. [comprehending spoken arguments]Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which points(s). [comprehending written arguments]Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. [formulating written arguments]

ALEX5What is Inquiry Dialogue? It is a type of talk where we search for the most reasonable answer. We use talk collaboratively to think together to find the best answer.Students take considerable control over the flow of the discussion.Teacher acts as a responsive facilitator by strategically choosing interventions or talk moves to support good argumentation.It is initiated by a BIG question about a contestable issue.It closes with reflection on processes and outcomes.Joe

The first question we wanted to address is WHY teachers should engage students in these kind of discussions. Any opinions?

In Dialogic Teaching, we use a variety of instructional strategies. However, our central strategy is the use of inquiry dialogue to promote argument literacy skills. We chose the term inquiry to denote that the purpose of the engagement is to collectively think about complex problems and to formulate more reasonable judgments in relation to these problems, not to win over opponents. In other words, the goal of engaging in inquiry is not to persuade other that you are right, but to collectively find out what is right, or more reasonable. Thus, during inquiry dialogue, participants do not simply try to convince each other by justifying their positions with reasons and evidence. They also actively seek alternative propositions and are willing to change their views in light of the new arguments considered by the group.

6Lets Try It!


1) Pre-discussion activity - Joe: Write down what your position is and find one reason in the text to support it. 5 min2) Discussion - Joe: What should Kelly Do? 30 min: Launch, Inquiry Dialogue, Closure. [Monica to offer a counterargument, but only after failed attempts to have teachers do that]3) Post-discussion activity- Joe: After this discussion, write your position, one strongest reason for and against it. 5min. Follow-up: Did anyone change their position, reasons? 7What Should Kelly Do?What did you see the students (You!) doing?What did you see the teacher (Joe) doing?Joe

Facilitate discussion

Have a discussion about the discussion8Post-Discussion Student ActivitiesGoal: To promote transfer to new tasks performed individuallySpeaking:What is your position now? Explain it to your partner.What are 2 new ideas about Kellys decision that you heard during the discussion? How did they affect your position? Writing: List 1 strongest reason for and 1 strongest reason against your position. Re-write/ Complete the story based on the groups position.Write a letter to relevant party (Editors of TFK) to express the groups position.Reading:Underline information in text that could be used to support your position.Underline information in the text that could be used against your position. Share with your peer


We mentioned earlier that there are many possible post-discussion activities. Here are some examples.9Pre-Discussion Student ActivitiesGoal: Activate prior knowledge and get students invested in the discussionThe activities should feed into the discussion, but not structure the discussion Light TouchThinking journals, post-it notes, drawingsTake a position (to be reviewed after the discussion)Is there anything that is confusing or surprising to you?Is there anything you feel strongly about?Make connections: text-text, text-self, text-world Small group work: think-pair-share


Having an activity before discussion is beneficial as it helps to activate relevant prior knowledge and support engagement with the story. Students should not do the heavy lifting work in pre-discussion activities. They should not come to discussion to simply report.Why? Building on prior knowledgeEngagement, interestIs there anything that is confusing or surprising to you? (adapted from JGB, p. 35)Is there anything you feel strongly about (adapted from JGB, p. 35)

Here are some suggestions for pre-discussion activities.Today, wed like to ask you to please write down what your position is and find one reason in the text to support it. 5 min

10Argument Rating Tool: 4 Criteria + 11 Talk Moves







TeacherThe teacher asks students to clarify their own ideas and to restate each others responses, whenever student statements lack clarity and precision. S/he closely paraphrases and re-voices student responses. The teacher often follows up with a student to make sure the paraphrasing is accurate (Is that what you were saying?)

I hear you saying Is that what you mean? Can someone else say what you understand his point to be?... Jose, is that what you meant? So are you saying that? How are you using the word ? Are you making a distinction between and .? What criteria do you think we should use for defining an adult? How is cheating different from lying? How is this similar to? Would this be the same as? Ok, so it seems like we have decided that we cant move forward without first clarifying what we mean by .

The teacher occasionally checks for clarity and asks students to explain their thinking more completely. When paraphrasing, the teacher may change the original meaning of student answers to emphasize specific point that students should not miss. The teacher sometimes selectively adds or subtracts information from student answers in order to fit in with a predetermined purpose for the lesson.

Is everyone following so far? Is this clear? Any questions? I am not sure I understand what you mean by... Can you explain it differently?

The teacher may ask students to repeat simple right answers. Incorrect, incomplete, or ambiguous student answers often remain unexamined.


Students paraphrase their own and each others answers, offer definitions, give examples, and otherwise work to clarify meaning. They check with the each other to make sure the group understands the ideas accurately and completely.

What I think Jose was saying is that Mirabai and I were using the same word to mean different things . Students occasionally paraphrase their own answers, but not those of other students. They typically direct their responses to the teacher, and not other students.

Students may repeat correct answers about specif