TOWARD DIALOGUE IN THE CLASSROOM: LEARNING AND TEACHING THROUGH INQUIRY // HACIA EL DIALOGO EN EL SALÓN DE CLASE: APRENDIZAJE Y ENSEÑANZA A TRAVÉS DE LA INDAGACIÓN

Gordon Wells, Rebeca Mejía Arauz

Resumen


There is increasing agreement among those who study classrooms that learning is likely to be most effective when students are actively involved in the co-construction of meaning through discussion of topics that are of significance to them. This paper reports the results of an extended collaborative action research project in which teachers attempted to create the conditions for such discussion by adopting an inquiry approach to the curriculum. A quantitative comparison between observations made early and late in the teachers’ involvement in the project showed a number of significant changes in the characteristics of teacher-whole class discourse, with a shift toward a more dialogic mode of interaction. Nevertheless, the frequency of stretches of “true discussion”, as defined by Nystrand et al. (2002), remained low. When the same observations were examined qualitatively, however, there was clear evidence of an increase over time in the teachers’ success in engaging students in co-constructing accounts and explanations. The paper concludes with a reconsideration of the purpose of “dialogue” in the classroom and of teachers’ goals and strategies in trying to achieve it.


KEYWORDS: Classroom discourse - Activity theory - Teacher research

 

RESUMEN
Existe cada vez mayor acuerdo entre aquellos que estudian los salones de clase en que es más probable que el aprendizaje sea más efectivo cuando los estudiantes se involucran activamente en la co-construcción del significado a través de la discusión de los temas que son relevantes para ellos. En este artículo reportamos los resultados de un proyecto de investigación-acción colaborativa a largo plazo, en el que los profesores y profesoras intentaron crear las condiciones para la discusión por medio de la adopción de un enfoque de indagación en el currículo. Los resultados de una comparación cuantitativa entre las observaciones hechas al inicio y posteriormente a la implicación de los maestros en el proyecto, mostró un número significativo de cambios en las características del discurso entre el/la maestro/a y la clase, con un giro hacia un modo más dialógico de interacción. A pesar de ello, la frecuencia de momentos de “verdadera discusión”, tal como la definió Nystrand et al. (2002), fue baja. Sin embargo, cuando las mismas observaciones se examinaron cualitativamente, se encontró clara evidencia de un incremento a lo largo del tiempo en la habilidad de los maestros/as para facilitar que los estudiantes generaran comentarios y explicaciones en forma co-construida. El artículo concluye con una reconsideración del propósito del “dialogo” en el salón de clases y los objetivos y estrategias de los maestros/as al tratar de lograrla.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Discurso en el aula - Teoría de la Actividad - Docentes investigadores


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