This project involves teachers from Lewisham and Southwark working together on a school-based enquiry project about dialogic teaching. The project is partnership between London South Teaching School Alliance and Rathfern Primary, Lewisham, a Chartered College Hub School. The project will run with the support of Cambridge University academics working on the Teacher Scheme for Educational Dialogue Analysis (T-SEDA), which has produced a practical tool kit to support teachers in engaging with enquiry projects around dialogic teaching in their own classrooms.

The research project seeks to explore the following questions:

  • Does developing teachers’ understanding of the relatiohsip between the quality of classroom interactions and the quality of learning improve teacher interactions with pupils?
  • Do improved teacher interactions with pupils lead to higher quality teacher: pupil and pupil:pupil dialogue?
  • Does improved classroom dialogue lead to improved learning outcomes for pupils?

The project will enable this by supporting teachers to effectively benchmark their own classroom practice in relation to dialogic teaching, using the Cambridge University designed T-SEDA tools. It will then introduce them to the dialogic teaching literature, and support them to design and implement a change to their own dialogic teaching practices. Finally, it will enable them to measure the impact of this change to practice, using the same T-SEDA tools. Teachers will attend two half day sessions and five twilights throughout the year, during which they will be supported to:

  • Understand and use the T-SEDA materials to baseline classroom dialogic practices;
  • Establish an enquiry question that is relevant to their own context;
  • Design a change to practice they will implement, based on the evidence about effective dialogic practices;
  • Gather and present impact data to each other, and producing a simple case study to form part of the final research report.

Session details

Programme leaders:

  • Sara Hennessy, University of Cambridge
  • Ruth Kershner, University of Cambridge
  • Naheeda Maharisangam, Headteacher, Rathfern Primary
  • Sarah Seleznyov, Director, London South TSA