How might explicitly increasing the use of dialogic approaches affect whole-group dialogue in virtual teacher professional development session run for an international examination board?

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West, Rachel
Issue Date
Educational Level
ISCED Level 2 Lower secondary education
Geographical Setting
United States of America
Background and purpose: This inquiry aims to explore what happens when trainers running virtual professional development (PD) sessions for teachers use a more dialogic approach to whole-group debrief sessions by setting up ground rules and introducing a repertoire of “talk moves”. The continuing professional development sessions focused on a specific curriculum subject and were designed for teachers new to teaching it. The PD sessions covered the curriculum framework, learning objectives and how to use the resources to teach the subject effectively.

Aims: The goal was to identify opportunities in the existing PD programme where dialogic approaches could be used and to put this into practice, then to measure how the dialogue had changed using coding of whole-group dialogue based on the T-SEDA analysis framework (T-SEDA Collective 2021) as well as reflection sessions with the trainer and feedback from teachers.

Study design or methodology: The intervention involved one trainer, who was running a virtual PD event for teachers in the USA. The PD session covered teaching and assessing a syllabus for teachers who were new to it. The baseline data was gathered from a past virtual event run by the same trainer with different teachers in the USA.

Findings: The initial findings indicate that instances of the focus talk categories (build/elaborate, reasoning and reflect on dialogue) increased by using the tools and strategies mentioned, and the average proportion of teacher talk time, as well as average turn length and percentage of the whole group who contributed to each debrief all increased from the first iteration to the second iteration.

Conclusions, originality, value and implications: This could have had a positive impact on learning for teachers in this event.
Keywords (free text)
dialogue , debriefing , teacher professional development , talk moves , ground rules , adult learners
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