Dialogic Inquiry: Towards a Socio-cultural Practice and Theory of Education

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For more than a quarter century, the polemics surrounding educational reform have centered on two points of view: those that favor a "progressive" child-centered form of education, and those that would prefer a return to a more structured, teacher-directed curriculum that emphasizes basic knowledge and skills. Vygotsky's social constructivist theory offers an alternative solution, placing stress on coconstruction of knowledge by more and less mature participants engaging in joint activity. This theory offers semiotic mediation as the primary means of obtaining knowledge, whereby the less mature participants can seek solutions to everyday problems by using resources existing in society.
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Editorial Reviews

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"An important contribution. . . . Dialogic Inquiry is a challenging book to read, both because it raises serious questions about many of the assumptions underlying cognitive science and because it tackles difficult theoretical questions without avoiding their complexity. . . Wells has demonstrated. . . that the sociocultural perspective has a great deal to offer our understanding of thinking, knowing, language and learning." Contemporary Psychology
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Conventions of Transcription
1 The Complementary Contributions of Halliday and Vygotsky to a "Language-based Theory of Learning" 3
2 In Search of Knowledge 51
3 Discourse and Knowing in the Classroom 98
4 Text, Talk, and Inquiry: Schooling As Semiotic Apprenticeship 135
5 Putting a Tool to Different Uses: A Reevaluation of the IRF Sequence 167
6 From Guessing to Predicting: Progressive Discourse in the Learning and Teaching of Science 209
7 Using the Tool-kit of Discourse in the Activity of Learning and Teaching 231
8 Making Meaning with Text: A Genetic Approach to the Mediating Role of Writing 267
9 On Learning With and From Our Students 293
10 The Zone of Proximal Development and Its Implications for Learning and Teaching 313
App. I A Social Constructivist Model of Learning and Teaching 335
App. II Categories for the Analysis of Discourse 337
References 339
Index of Authors 355
Index of Subjects 360
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