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TXTS 4 Teachers

Academic Dialogue: Broader Benefits

Marlys WeaverStoesz

We are revisiting our tiny people with British accents!

Throughout October, we have contemplated myriad aspects of academic dialogue, from both a wide, philosophical lens and at other times, we dove into the nitty-gritty of specific structures and strategies.  We definitely have gone beyond “peanut butter and jelly partners!”

As we conclude this month’s journey, we broaden our perspective to the “why” of academic dialogue:  empowering our students to become empathetic, problem-solving, creative thinking citizens of the world.

You will see in the video and accompanying article that School 21 has their wellbeing curriculum built into their day.  American classroom teachers typically don’t have the luxury of a school-wide program such as this one.  Yet, the focus on open-ended dialogue based on concrete, authentic experiences and the structures to encourage these conversations can be adapted for any classroom.

School 21’s head of school, Oli de Botton, beautifully summarizes the ultimate goal:  “We want our children to have power and control over their lives, a sense of belonging, and to feel that we can grow here.  We want to give them the experiences and support to do all of these things.”

Be ready to be inspired.