1st Edition

A Dialogic Teaching Companion

By Robin Alexander Copyright 2020
    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    Building on Robin Alexander’s landmark Towards Dialogic Teaching, this book shows how and why the dialogic approach has a positive impact on student engagement and learning. It sets out the evidence, examines the underpinning ideas and issues, and offers guidance and resources for the planning, implementation and review of effective dialogic teaching in a wide range of educational settings.

    Dialogic teaching harnesses the power of talk to engage students’ interest, stimulate their thinking, advance their understanding, expand their ideas and build and evaluate argument, empowering them for lifelong learning and for social and democratic engagement. Drawing on extensive published research as well as the high-profile, 5000-student trial and independent evaluation of Alexander’s distinctive approach to dialogic teaching in action, this book:

    • Presents the case for treating talk as not merely incidental to teaching and learning but as an essential tool of education whose exploitation and development require understanding and skill;
    • Explores questions of definition and conceptualisation in the realms of dialogue, argumentation and dialogic teaching, revealing the similarities and differences between the main approaches;
    • Discusses evidence that has enriched the debate about classroom talk in relation to oracy, argumentation, student voice and philosophy for children as well as dialogic teaching itself;
    • Identifies what it is about dialogic teaching that makes a difference to students’ thinking, learning and understanding;
    • Presents the author’s rationale and framework for dialogic teaching, now completely revised and much expanded;
    • Proposes a professional development strategy for making dialogic teaching happen which, like the framework, has been successfully trialled in schools;
    • Lists resources from others working in the field to support further study and development;
    • Includes an extensive bibliography.

    Robin Alexander’s A Dialogic Teaching Companion, like its popular predecessor Towards Dialogic Teaching, aims to support the work of all those who are interested in the quality of teaching and learning, but especially trainee and serving teachers, teacher educators, school leaders and researchers.


    1. Prologue
    2. Talk for learning
    3. Versions of dialogue
    4. Dialogue in other words
    5. Grand dichotomy
    6. Ingredient x
    7. Frameworks and fundamentals
    8. Professional development
    9. Epilogue


    Robin Alexander is Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge, Professor of Education Emeritus at the University of Warwick, and Fellow of the British Academy. He has also held chairs in education at the universities of Leeds and York and visiting posts outside the UK. His Culture and Pedagogy (2001) won the Outstanding Book Award of the American Educational Research Association, while Children, their World, their Education (2010), and his work as director of the Cambridge Primary Review, won the SES Book Awards First Prize and the BERA/Sage Public Impact and Engagement Award.

    "Overall, this is essential reading for all who are interested in effective classroom talk and that should include every teacher, student teacher and policymaker." - David Reedy, Literacy (UKLA)