How can dialogues between teachers and children improve the teaching?

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How can dialogues between teachers and children improve the teaching?‘Reaching the Hard to Reach’ is an Erasmus+ project involving researchers and schools from five European countries. The overall aim is to develop teaching by establishing a democratic dialogue between teachers and students and thereby strengthen the participation of all children in school. The perspective used is the Inclusive Inquiry (Messiou, 2016; Messiou et al, 2016). The methodology is collaborative action research (Ainscow, 2010) and the teachers as well as the children considered as co-researchers. This paper focus on the Danish part of the project and presents the results from the Danish schools. The studyIn Denmark, we have collaborated with teachers and children from six schools and investigated if and how teaching can build upon the children’s knowledge and interests. By asking the children their views of i.e. “good teaching” and “motivating teaching”, the overall aim is to develop “children sensible” lessons in order to make them more inclusive – that is: lessons possible for more children to participate in. With the dialogue between children and teachers in focus, the research process is as follows: Children and teachers plan the teaching, teach and observe, and as the last part: to evaluate the teaching (focusing on the participation of the children) and so forth. Thus, the aim is to contribute to the discussion of ‘how to do inclusion’ in schools by engaging the children in new parts of the teaching.Findings so far We find that the democratic dialogue is exceptional when it comes to making the lessons more inclusive. Children can contribute in the planning of the teaching in ways we had not even imagined. However, the democratic dialogue has difficult conditions even in a Danish school context and need organizational framing and support. One very crucial discussion relates to the differences between having influence and being responsible as a schoolchild (Hedegaard-Soerensen & Grumloese, work in progress) and the positions and collaboration possible in contemporary school. Thus, we find the need to discuss the current school culture and politics and the very possibilities of strengthening the inclusion by children’s democratic participation in teaching (Hedegaard-Soerensen & Grumloese, 2018). In a Nordic educational research context, this project and the subjects raised are relevant in order to find ways of “doing inclusion” rather than just claiming to make the schools more inclusive. ReferencesAinscow, M. (2010): Achieving excellence and equity: reflections on the development of practices in one local district over 10 years. School Effectiveness and School Improvement 21:1, pages 75-92.Hedegaard-Soerensen, L. & Grumloese, S, P. (2018) Exclusion: The Downside of neoliberal education policy. Internatiolnal Journal of Inclusie Education. DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2018.1478002., L. and Grumloese, S.P. (wip): Teacher-student dialogue in school development. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy. Messiou, K. (2016): Research in the field of inclusive education. Time for a rethink. In: International Journal of Inclusive Education. 21:2 Messiou, K., Ainscow, M. Echeita, G. Goldrick, S. Hope, M. Paes, I. Sandoval, M., Simon, C. and Vitorino, T. (2016): Learning from differences: a strategy for teacher development in respect to student diversity. In: School Effectiveness and School Improvement: An international journal of Research, Policy and Practice (27) 1
Original languageEnglish
Publication year5 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2020
EventNERA 2020 - University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Duration: 4 Mar 20206 Mar 2020


ConferenceNERA 2020
LocationUniversity of Turku

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