Dialogue – Its No Debate

In Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives, Peter Johnston reports on a revealing study by Martin Nystrand.  Nystrand discovered that students in dialogic classroom recalled their reading better and understood the material in more depth.  Dialogic classrooms also reduced disparities in learning outcomes between students of different race, ethnicity, wealth, etc.    However, Nystrand and his colleagues also found that in the eighth and ninth grade language arts classrooms they monitored, students encountered 50 seconds of dialogic interaction over an entire day in the 8th grade classrooms and only 15 seconds for ninth graders.