In the World Library of Educationalists series, international experts themselves compile career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces – extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, major theoretical and practical contributions – so the world can read them in a single manageable volume. Readers will be able to follow the themes and strands and see how their work contributes to the development of the field.
Language and the Joint Creation of Knowledge draws on the most prominent writing of Neil Mercer, covering his ground-breaking and critically acclaimed work on the role of talk in education, and on the relationship between spoken language and cognition.
The text explores key themes, relating theoretical ideas to research evidence and to practical educational situations that improve children’s lives. Offering students and researchers a clear, accessible and up-to-date account of a sociocultural perspective on the relationship between spoken language and cognition, it explains one of the key themes in Neil Mercer’s work – that humans have uniquely evolved the capacity to think together, or ‘interthink’.
Offering a crucial insight into the work of Neil Mercer, this selection showcases why his approach has become the dominant paradigm in educational research, and why it is increasingly influential in the psychology of teaching and learning. This unique collection of published articles and chapters, which represent the key themes and range of his research over the last 40 years, will be of interest to all followers of his work and any reader interested in the role of language in education.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Chapter 1. Community language and education; Chapter 2. Researching common knowledge: studying the content and context of educational discourse; Chapter 3. The quality of talk in children's collaborative activity in the classroom; Chapter 4. Laying the foundations; Chapter 5. Language for teaching a language; Chapter 6. Developing dialogues; Chapter 7. Reasoning as a scientist: ways of helping children to use language to learn science; Chapter 8. Sociocultural discourse analysis: analysing classroom talk as a social mode of thinking; Chapter 9. The seeds of time: why classroom dialogue needs a temporal analysis; Chapter 10.The analysis of classroom talk: methods and methodologies; Chapter 11. Dialogic teaching in the primary science classroom; Chapter 12. Using interactive whiteboards to orchestrate classroom dialogue; Chapter 13. The social brain, language, and goal-directed collective thinking: a social conception of cognition and its implications for how we think, teach, and learn; Chapter 14. Classroom talk and the development of self-regulation and metacognition; Chapter 15. The study of talk between teachers and students, from the 1970s until the 2010s; Chapter 16. Dialogue, thinking together and digital technology in the classroom: some educational implications for a continuing line of inquiry; Chapter 17. An Oracy Assessment Toolkit: linking research and development in the assessment if students’ spoken language skills at age 11-12
Neil Mercer is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, where he is also the Director of Oracy Cambridge: the Hughes Hall Centre for Effective Spoken Communication and a Life Fellow of the college Hughes Hall. He is a psychologist with particular interests in the use of talk for thinking collectively, the development of children’s spoken language abilities, and the role of teachers in that development. He has worked extensively and internationally with teachers, researchers and educational policy makers.