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Challenging Learning Through Dialogue: Strategies to Engage Your Students and Develop Their Language of Learning (International Edition)

by James Nottingham, Jill Nottingham and Martin Renton SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 208 pages
AU$61.00 NZ$63.48
Product Status: In Stock Now
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& Academics:
There is substantial evidence that teachers currently talk too much in classes, often only waiting 0.8 seconds after asking a question before jumping in with the answer if a student doesn't quickly volunteer. In this book, the authors define the qualities of the best type of dialogue - explorative - and provide dozens of practical strategies and examples for how teachers can lead productive discussions as a whole class, with large groups, and with small groups.


Features and Benefits

Teachers will find:

    • 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 dialogue: explorative

    • Dozens of practical strategies for explorative dialogue

    • Global examples of fun ways to teach dialogue


The Challenging Learning Story
The Language of Learning
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 Languge to Express Understanding
1.5 Review
1.6 Next Steps
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 & Further Reading
3. Dialogue to Engage Students
3.0 Preview
3.1 Getting the Ethos Right
3.2 Issuing Invitations
3.3 Encouraging & Engaging
3.4 Restating
3.5 Reformulating
3.6 Review
3.7 Next Steps & Further Reading
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
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 & Further Reading
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 & Further Reading
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 & Further Reading
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 & Further Reading
8.9.1 Mystery: Should Bjorn Move to France?
8.9.2 Mystery: Louis Pasteur and the Anthrax Vaccine
8.9.3 Mystery: Is Sally a Good Friend?
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 & Further Reading
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 of A Visit to Grandma's
10.5 Review
10.6 Next Steps & Further Reading
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 & Further Reading
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 & Further Reading

"We know that teachers do too much of the talking in the classroom, and they know it too. But too often their first question is “How do we get students to talk more?” Nottingham, Nottingham and Renton have helped answer that question. Challenging Learning is filled with practical advice and important activities that will help increase dialogue in classrooms!"

Peter DeWitt, Author/Consultant

Albany, NY


"This work from Nottingham, Nottingham, and Renton clearly demonstrates first how to create both the moral and instructional imperative to increase student voice and dialogue for meaning-making between teacher and student in all classrooms. They then articulate countless ways for how to do so in practical, meaningful, and relevant ways that allow any teacher to begin to do so tomorrow. This work should be in the hands of every teacher and administrator before they walk in your school."

Dave Nagel, Author Consultant

Corwin Press/NZJ Learning


"In my position as the gifted specialist I work with both students and teachers. I help support teachers in planning to meet the needs of my students, as well as working with beginning teachers. All would benefit from incorporating Dialogue in [their] content areas. This book could quite frankly change a lot of classroom practices–it wasn't preachy–it was informative and a great guide to engage students."

Susan Leeds, Gifted Specialist

Winter Park High


"This book is a great tool for educators interested in making dialogue work in the classroom. [It] is really clear and easy to follow with sample dialogue structures that teachers can use and examples to follow. I recommend it for individual educators, teams, [and] districts…"

Kara Vandas, Corwin Author/Consultant

Castle Rock, CO


"Like either side of a coin, language and thinking and inseparably entwined. Our thoughts direct our language and our language conveys our thoughts. Efficacious thinkers, therefore, enhance their thinking by enriching their linguistic capacities. And that is what this valuable book is about. It is a must for teachers and families who wish to have their children learn to think and communicate with greater precision and clarity. Filled with rich background information, myriad protocols, practical learning strategies, and vivid examples, this book can teach us all how to listen more attentively and to communicate more thoughtfully. It is what the world needs now."

Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. Professor Emeritus

Co-Director, International Institute for Habits of Mind.
James Nottingham is the founder of Challenging Learning, a company based in the UK, Australia and Scandinavia. His passion is in transforming the most up-to-date research into strategies that really work in the classroom. He has been described by the Swedish Teaching Union as “one of the most talked about names in the world of school development.”

Before training to be a teacher, James worked on a pig farm, in the chemical industry, for the American Red Cross and as a sports coach in a school for deaf children. At university, he gained a first class honours degree in education. He then worked as a teacher and leader in primary and secondary schools in the UK before co-founding an award-winning, multi-million pound social regeneration project supporting schools and businesses across the UK.

In 2009, James was listed among the Future 500 – a “definitive list of the UK’s most forward-thinking and brightest innovators.”

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 Learning teaching materials, has edited the others, and is currently writing 3 books for schools and 2 books for pre-schools. In amongst this she finds time to be the mother of 3 gorgeous children!

Martin Renton is the Managing Director of Challenging Learning, responsible for the outstanding delivery of all long-term development projects. He is also a highly sought-after keynote speaker, leader, facilitator and coach.

Martin’s knowledge of pedagogy and leadership is borne out in his experiences in schools and colleges as a teacher, leader, consultant and coach. Whilst he is Challenging Learning’s post-16 specialist, his early years experiences as a nanny (2-9 year olds) then as a teacher and leader in middle schools (9-13 year olds), secondary schools (11-18 year old) and colleges (16+) have given him a unique insight into how people learn from the age of 2-adulthood. Martin uses these insights to challenge, inspire and engage his audiences.

With a Masters Degree in Educational Research from Newcastle University, Martin designs and leads all of Challenging Learning’s evaluation processes. Martin is also trained in the historic craft of drystone-walling and still labours under the impression that he can play the guitar!