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An Invitation to Dialogue: purposeful and effective talk for learning

2nd February 2021 - 5th October 2021

A series of 4 online workshops led by Nikki Gamble and David Reedy

This online course is designed for schools looking to promote deeper learning through high-quality interaction in classrooms. It draws on the presenters’ extensive research in diverse school settings and is informed by the compelling research literature of the past 50 years including the most recent studies and their implications.


Children construct meaning not only from the interplay of what they newly encounter and what they already know but from interaction with others. In turn, this interaction is critical not just for children’s understanding of the kind of knowledge with which schools deal……but for the development of their very identity; their sense of self and worth. (Alexander,2008:11)A compelling body of research over half a century has emphasised the importance of talk in and beyond classrooms. Drawing on extensive practice and action research, Nikki and David guide course participants to explore practically the implications of the latest research for teachers and their classrooms.

The course will cover :

  • The importance of oral language for teaching and learning; research and practice.
  • The repertoire of teaching talk, including dialogic teaching, and the features that promote learning and deeper thinking
  • Purposeful pupil to pupil talk, including ‘exploratory talk’.
  • Practical classroom strategies, such as the authentic questioning both by pupils and by teachers, follow-up moves, argumentation, exposition – clarity and intention
  • An element of action research and advice on leading whole school development

The online sessions will be a blend of expert input from Nikki and David, discussions about practical classroom matters, practical ideas to try out in classrooms and the sharing of effective practice. There will be an action research element to the programme whereby participants will explore developing aspects of their own classroom practice between each session and report back on impact. This will involve working with video and transcripts.

We advise that where possible two teachers from each school attend this course in order to lead development across the school. This will facilitate professional dialogue in school.

Session 1 2nd February 10.00 – 12.00 Overview of Research and effective Teaching Talk.
Session 2 9th March 10.00 – 12.00 Teaching Talk continued; analysis of teaching episodes and follow-up moves
Session 3 18th May 10.00 – 12.00 Learning Talk: the conditions for purposeful pupil/pupil talk including exploratory talk.
Session 4 5 the October 4.00 – 5.30 Review and planning next steps (note: this session is a twilight meeting to facilitate the attendance of other teachers in school with the aim of widening participation)


Single teacher £150 plus VAT

Two teachers from the same school £200 plus VAT

Three teachers from the same school £250 plus VAT

Enquiries nikki@justimaginestorycentre.co.uk

Book now via the linked website


2nd February 2021
5th October 2021
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