The role of dialogue and polylogue during an inquiry process in primary education

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Abstract

Inquiry is commonly applied in all types of education. In inquiry, dialogue between persons present in the classroom and polylogue with knowledgeable others outside the classroom (e.g., via books) are vital. In the context of Developmental Education, inquiry takes on three forms: consulting sources, inquiry of practices and inquiry as experimental research. This study aims to find out what role dialogue and polylogue play in these forms of inquiry, and how dialogue and polylogue can be promoted by a teacher. The inquiry processes in a classroom with children aged 4-6 were studied.
This class was working on the theme „the garden‟, which included activities like gardening, drying flowers, and setting up a flower shop. This classroom was observed and the teacher was interviewed to give insight into the way inquiry was part of the activities of the class. The three forms of inquiry were all visible in the activities that children and the teacher undertook. In consulting sources, the teacher played an important role in stimulating polylogue by means of providing and reading in books. Inquiry of practices was seen in the flower shop, when children were imitating the activities of real florists. Here, dialogue was central, via which children together instigated a meaningful role-play. Inquiry as experimental research was visible for example in trying out different ways to dry flowers. This required a combination of dialogue to determine together how the experiment can best be conducted and polylogue to involve the ideas of not present others. Crucial in each of these forms of inquiry is the central role of the teacher in providing a rich learning environment in which dialogue and polylogue can meaningfully take place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPatchwork, Learning diversities
EditorsA. Baucal, J. Radisic
Place of PublicationBelgrade, Serbia
PublisherUniversity of Belgrade
Pages121-126
ISBN (Print)9788688803250
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventPatchwork, Learning Diversities - Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 30 Aug 20121 Sep 2012

Conference

ConferencePatchwork, Learning Diversities
Period30/08/121/09/12

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