Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on


Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

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 Corwin Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 208 pages
AU$66.00 NZ$69.57
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
add to your cart
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


List of Figures
The Challenging Learning Story
Foreword by Guy Claxton
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 Languge 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 Bj++rn 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 Judgement Notes

"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!"
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!