Dialogic Teaching, Better Known as Talking Sense
When did talking plain sense get so complicated? Somehow, the idea has been forgotten in modern education to the point that we need a term to describe it, dialogic teaching, that sounds like an exotic disease, just so education professionals will take it seriously.
Dialogic teaching - pronounced like dialogue, not logic - means communication with students. It means teaching to the student, not at the student. It means actually taking the time and effort to discuss things with the learner. It means mastering the art of active listening; not just being seen to listen, but to actually be listening. It also means offering feedback that is as long or as short as is appropriate, making the leaner feel valued and important.
Somehow, this has become practically a lost art.
Teaching has become regularly scheduled programming. When students give long responses, a teacher often measures the reply against his or her prepared agenda, treating the matter as a diversion, like a commercial break. When the break is over, it's right back to the broadcast. Many people are too in love with their own plans to adjust those plans according to the course of events.
The modern tools at our disposal point us in the proper direction. Whether one on one, in a classroom, or lecturing from a podium, the issue is communicating. The key is remarkably simple: talking plain sense to people.
Learners need to understand things rather than parrot the instructor's own words back to him or her in a different form. The instructor bears the burden of aiding the learner by way of good explanations.
Good explanation means using words that are fewer in number and smaller in size. Explanation is the art of simplification. To make things simple is not to dumb them down; it is to make them tangible, logical, and to help the learner truly understand them.Continued on the next page