Dialogue and the development of children's thinking: a sociocultural approach

Mercer, Neil and Littleton, Karen (2007). Dialogue and the development of children's thinking: a sociocultural approach. London, UK: Routledge.

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Even casual observations of children's everyday lives reveal that they are constantly engaged in talk and other forms of social interaction. Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking provides a clear, accessible and well-illustrated case for the importance of spoken dialogue for children’s intellectual development during the school years.
The book draws on extensive research to provide a ground-breaking new account of this relationship, and closely relates the research findings to real-life classrooms, so that it is of practical value to teachers and parents concerned that their children are offered the best possible learning opportunities. Importantly, it provides hard evidence from original research to show that the quality of classroom talk improves the quality of children’s thinking and educational attainment. The book also provides a new and more educationally-relevant interpretation of sociocultural theory, based on the work of Vygotsky, which explains the fascinating relationship between engagement in dialogues and learning.
By using evidence of how the collective construction of knowledge is achieved, and how engagement in dialogues shapes children's educational progress and intellectual development, the authors provide a text which will be essential for educational researchers, postgraduate students of education and teachers, and also of interest to many psychologists and applied linguists.

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