Towards a Socio-cultural Practice and Theory of Education
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- Author: Gordon Wells, University of Toronto
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For more than a quarter century, the polemics surrounding educational reform have centered on two points of view: those that favor a "progressive" child-centered form of education, and those that would prefer a return to a more structured, teacher-directed curriculum that emphasizes basic knowledge and skills. Vygotsky's social constructivist theory offers an alternative solution, placing stress on coconstruction of knowledge by more and less mature participants engaging in joint activity. This theory offers semiotic mediation as the primary means of obtaining knowledge, whereby the less mature participants can seek solutions to everyday problems by using resources existing in society. In addition to using illustrative examples from classroom studies, this book provides a comparative analysis of the theories and complementary developments in works by Vygotsky and the linguist M.A.K. Halliday. This unique volume will be of tremendous benefit to researchers in the fields of education, sociolinguistics, and psychology.Read more
- Offers an approach to education for a 'knowledge society'
- Author is highly visible and lectures widely
- Based on collaborative research with teachers
Reviews & endorsements
"An important contribution. . . . Dialogic Inquiry is a challenging book to read, both because it raises serious questions about many of the assumptions underlying cognitive science and because it tackles difficult theoretical questions without avoiding their complexity. . . Wells has demonstrated. . . that the sociocultural perspective has a great deal to offer our understanding of thinking, knowing, language and learning." Contemporary Psychology
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- Date Published: January 2005
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511035777
- contains: 7 b/w illus. 9 tables
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Conventions of transcription
Part I. Establishing the Theoretical Framework:
1. The complementary contributions of Halliday and Vygotsky to a 'language-based theory of learning'
2. In search of knowledge
3. Discourse and knowing in the classroom
Part II. Discourse, Learning, and Teaching:
4. Text, talk, and inquiry: schooling as semiotic apprenticeship
5. Putting a tool to different uses: a reevalution of the IRF sequence
6. From guessing to predicting: progressive discourse in the learning and teaching of science
7. Using the tool-kit of discourse in the activity of learning and teaching
8. Making meaning with text: a genetic approach to the mediating role of writing
Part III. Learning and Teaching in the ZPD:
9. On learning with and from our students
10. The zone of proximal development and its implications for learning and teaching
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