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Educational dialogues and the fostering of pupils' independence: the practices of two teachers

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Abstract:

If the purpose of an educational system is to guide pupils towards achieving independence, then certain conditions about the design and conduct of that system must be met. In this paper, those conditions are formulated from a socio-cultural perspective on learning and development. This paper examines the extent to which those conditions were fulfilled by teachers judged 'good' by their pupils and by school management in a case-study in two Montessori secondary schools. Because discourse is assumed to play a central role when pupils work on assignments with the teacher assisting them, dialogues occurring in various teaching-learning situations were analysed. The types of language genre used by the teachers and pupils were found to be important characteristics of the ongoing dialogues. The main results were that 'good' teachers excel in the adoption of a personal approach to pupils, but they work much more intuitively than systematically or deliberately to stimulate pupils' development of higher mental functions.

Keywords: Montessori method; classroom communication; student development; teacher-student relationships; teaching styles

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220270903079237

Affiliations: 1: Dutch Montessori school for secondary education, 2: Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands 3: Department of Theory and Research in Education, Free University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Publication date: 2010-02-01

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