Supporting dialogue about dialogic practice: Building a community around practitioner inquiry

Twiner, Alison; Carmichael, Patrick; Dudley, Pete; Hennessy, Sara and McElroy, Maria (2022). Supporting dialogue about dialogic practice: Building a community around practitioner inquiry. In: European Assocation for Research on Learning and Instruction: SIG 20 & 26 Biennial Conference 2022, 14-16 Sep 2022, Utrecht.


Camtree (Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange) is a global learning community of practice and publication platform for educational practice-knowledge. In this presentation we report on the development of the Camtree community and its digital library: where education professionals are supported in exploring their dialogic practices and publishing their findings with the wider educator community. The intention is that messages from practice then inform policymakers as well as other practitioners and researchers in the field.

Using sound research evidence on the value of a dialogic approach to teaching and learning, and scaffolding use of tools and inquiry approaches for reflective practitioners to research their own facilitation of educational dialogue (e.g. Teacher-SEDA), educators across contexts are guided to make and understand pedagogically informed changes in practice. In this frame, practitioners’ contextualised insight and embedded stance are valued, rather than controlled out as subjective bias. The negotiation of inquiry foci and publication of such studies supports ripples of dialogue within and beyond existing groups. Indeed, where communities of practice are formed, with engaged practitioners sharing ideas around a common inquiry focus, issue or context, the impact for practitioners and their learners could be substantial compared to what they might do on their own.

In this session we will focus on work with Camtree practitioner members exploring how to make their practice more dialogic, through their own inquiry, and their publishing of this work to the wider Camtree community. We will draw on interview, focus group and survey data to highlight benefits of dialoguing with other practitioner-researchers located in different digital, physical, sociocultural, political and linguistic contexts. We will use our data analysis to contribute to debates around the widening ripples of practitioners’ dialogic engagement, and reciprocal benefits of this for directly impacting students’ learning and for informing policy.

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