The use of Quality Talk to foster critical thinking in a low socio-economic secondary Geography Classroom (Accepted Manuscript).pdf
This small case study investigated the use of the Quality Talk framework to empower students to pool their knowledge in group discussions around a novel topic or event. The main goals of the Quality Talk approach were to provide teachers with a prescriptive framework for increasing their students’ critical-analytical thinking by providing greater opportunity for student voice. The quasi-experimental methodology involved students and a teacher from a low socio-economic secondary school in a large city in New Zealand in the curriculum area of Geography. The students, on self-report, identified as coming from predominantly Pasifika backgrounds. Following the intervention and additional opportunities to conduct group discussions, many of the students identified how other opinions contributed to their understanding of the topic. An episode of talk is considered a ‘dialogic spell’, rather than a discussion, if the discussion begins with a student’s question and is followed by at least two more questions from other students. When students used higher numbers of uptake questions and high-level questions, they increased their levels of ‘dialogic spell’. The students’ increase of critical-analytical thinking in their pre- and post-test was assessed and graded. The study was important because it also showed that when the teacher relinquished their role as facilitator of the discussions, the students self-facilitated the dialogue amongst themselves.