WP156 Exuberant voiceless participation: Dialogic sensibilities in the primary classroom

Segal & Lefstein
Collection: Key word


Dialogic pedagogy sometimes focuses on the interplay of voices: Whose voices are expressed and attended to in classroom discourse?? How do these voices play off of one another in creating new ideas and meanings?? And in particular, how far are students empowered to express their own voices, rather than reproducing the teacher?s or textbook?s?? Building on Bakhtin, Hymes and Blommaert, we argue that realizing voice involves (a) opportunity to speak, (b) expressing one?s own ideas, (c) on one?s own terms, (d) being heeded by others.? Employing this framework in an analysis of Hebrew language lessons in two Israeli primary schools, we identify patterns of exuberant voiceless participation: students enthusiastically contribute to lively classroom discussion and often frame these contributions as dialogical responses that build on one each other’s ideas, but at the level of voice, the discussion is for the most part univocal, since most student contributions are aligned with the official voice of the teacher and curriculum, and in the rare instances where they emerge, independent student voices fall out of the conversation.