WP33 Dialogue in schools: Towards a pragmatic approach

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In this paper I question the relevance and appropriateness of prevailing ideals of dialogue for educational practice within schools.? First, I examine five core aspects common to most theories: dialogue as a communicative pattern, dialogue as a means of learning, dialogue as an epistemological stance, dialogue as an orientation toward content and dialogue as a relation.? This discussion highlights central tensions inherent to any approach to dialogue.? Second, I show how structural features of schooling render the dialogical ideal close to impossible.? I propose a pragmatic theory of dialogue for schooling, which is appropriate to teacher and pupil institutional roles, sensitive to the large number of participants in a whole class setting and involves the negotiation of tensions inherent to the conduct of dialogue.